Are we spreading the hope or is our light dimmed? I contemplated this as I read from a devotional this morning that is based on hymns. The particular hymn had the three most important words of all time, “He is risen.” The writer elaborated on the fact that the disciples and all the followers of Jesus were in the darkest hours of their lives. They had Jesus among them, teaching, healing, loving and forgiving. They had hope. And then he was gone.
How their hope must have been crushed. The darkness of the world suddenly was all around them again and they were being consumed by it. Like a candle in a room suddenly blown out by the wind. They had lost their only hope. How often do we as believers lose that hope? There is no saying “I have never lost hope” for the battle within us between sin and death and life and Jesus is very real within us. We can lose hope when we allow the enemy in. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 “The enemy comes to kill and steal and destroy. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life.”
This is why those three most important words of all time are so vital for us to hear over and over again. We need to remind ourselves and be reminded by others that Jesus has won. The victory is his. He conquered death and sin and has given us new life with him.
The problem is the sin within us is still fighting back. The enemy doesn’t want you to be one of the many bright lights in this world. He wants to douse the flame of the Holy Spirit and make us lose hope.
It is hard to imagine life without Jesus. The early followers of Jesus who knew him as a man were in the darkest place. The hope they had in Jesus was gone but they didn’t have the Holy Spirit yet to help them see the truth that Jesus had lived and spoken to them.
Lost and Found
I was reminded of the stories Jesus told us of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. In each of these stories, something was lost and when it was found, there was great celebration. The followers of Jesus had lost the greatest hope of all in Jesus. So, when the angel told the women at the tomb, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen just as he said.” The women’s response is telling of the battle within us. Matthew 28:8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Their joy overcame their fear. It spurred them to run. Their hope was alive. They chose at that moment not to doubt the angel and the evidence of the empty tomb. They chose to believe that Jesus was alive. They didn’t see him but they believed.
We don’t typically see angels, nor hear their words in this day and age. But the truth is that God has a whole army of believers in Jesus who believe. We, as believers, are God’s hands and feet. He speaks to us through each other. Has there been a friend who has reminded you of Jesus and that he is alive? Have words from a family member or co-worker pointed you back to Jesus?
Words of Hope
He is risen! Let these words ring through your ears and onto your voice as you shout, sing and proclaim the hope of the world has conquered sin and death and has given you new life. Jesus may have seemed lost by those early disciples but then he rose from the dead. What was lost to them had returned and it was reason to celebrate. The light is back.
It’s not Easter time but these words need to be heard all year long. He is risen! Let these words remind you of the hope you have in him.
If you are finding yourself back in that dark place and need some guidance, please talk to a pastor, friend or counselor like myself.