RESTORING HOPE

Has there ever been a time in your life when you lost hope?  It can be a very depressing time.  Maybe it was the loss of a child or spouse.  Maybe the loss of a job.  Maybe it was from a poor decision you made.  Or maybe it was because of something someone did to you.

Can you imagine what it was like the day after Jesus death for His disciples?  For the last three years they had given up everything to follow Jesus in a revolution He was leading.  They were on a mission they had bought into 100%.  Following a parable (Rich Young Rule, Luke 18) Peter even reminds Jesus of this saying, “We have left all we had to follow you! (NIV Luke 18:28)”  Can you imagine the morning after?  You placed him in the tomb and rolled a stone in front of the entrance.  It seems so final.  They had seen Jesus raise someone from the dead, but once He is dead, no one could raise Him.

Can you imagine waking up and the questions you would have?  Did I just waste the last three years on a mission that failed?  What do I do now?  Where do I go?  Then the “what if questions”, “what if” we had done this differently?  “What if” I had stood by His side?  In their mind the final chapter had been written and the book closed.  The end.

It is no wonder after three days they struggled with the news they would hear.  “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. (NIV Matthew 28:5-6)” The first statement the angel makes just jumps off the page at me.  “DO NOT BE AFFRIAD” Really?  Don’t be afraid?  When we lose hope, isn’t FEAR what seems to replace it?  Don’t be afraid?  Everything we were fighting for was just lost, and I don’t know what is next!  Do not be afraid?  WOW!  But isn’t it amazing how quickly hope can be restored?

Think about this, Mary has not seen Jesus alive yet, all she knows is He is not where He was and now there is glimmer of hope.  Could this be possible?  Could He really be alive?  Because, if He is alive that changes everything!  If He is alive HOPE is restored.  We have a GOD who does the IMPOSSIBLE!  So today, do not be afraid, He is risen!  Do not be afraid, Our God brings LIFE from DEATH!

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