“We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”
There is a special sadness in the disciples’ words “We had hoped …” They describe hope born in the past but now gone. Hope is a bright window on the future, but dashed hopes quickly fade away.
After my brother died, as my parents described the seven years in which Billy was examined, studied, and operated on at a top-notch heart clinic, they said about our family’s experience, “We had hoped …” When he died, our hope for a healthy life for him died.
Cleopas and a friend headed out of Jerusalem on their long walk home, drained of hope. Their hopes had been great: they had hoped that Jesus was the one to redeem Israel. They gave the impression that Jesus was their last hope. With nothing to do but go home after Jesus died, their chins and hearts were on the ground.
Many of us can relate to their sadness. Some parents go home from the pediatric hospital with an empty infant seat in the car. Some people undergo surgery that is expected to clear everything up, but it makes things worse. And sometimes a young person who has shown so much promise goes off in a destructive direction, and the damage cannot be reversed.
We need a hope that rises above life’s brokenness. It comes through the Easter victory, offering the Lord’s presence always—for a broken world put right.
Father in heaven, we place all of our hopes— even lost hopes—on you. Thank you for hearing us. Thank you for hope restored by your promise of new life in your Son. Amen.
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