1997-03-28 - Things are Not Always as They Seem To BeI hope you all have a blessed Easter! : )
Two of Jesus' followers were discussing their disappointment, after His crucifixion. They did not realize that their questioner was Christ Himself:
Luke 24:17-21 (NRSV) And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.
Their hopes and dreams were crushed. They had believed Jesus was to be a political Messiah, and now that was not possible. As many times as He had directed their minds to a Heavenly perspective, they just didn't get it. They thought it was all over. In actuality, something more crucial was happening here. The death of Christ, and His subsequent resurrection, procured for us the salvation we could never achieve on our own. Because of Christ's conquering sin and the grave, those who believe in Him as Savior can spend eternity -- forever -- with God. What appeared to be a bleak moment, became the turning point of history, irrevocably changing two worlds, both this earthly one and the one that lasts forever.
Maybe you are going through a dark phase in your life. Right now you can see no purpose, no hope, no light. But even though we can't always see the whole picture, God can. God sees everything, He is in control and He loves you very much. He can bring a glorious Sunday out of any "Good Friday" that we face.
Dear Father, Help us to trust in You through the most arduous times we face. Help us to have the hope that You can bring good -- both now and eternally -- out of even our most painful experiences. In Jesus' Name amen.