My wife Kristi and I were enjoying a ‘date night’ at the Disney Resort and as we were exiting Disney’s California Adventure, I noticed a young family finishing their day with a not-so-happy child. She was very upset saying, ‘I WANT a big lollypop!’ “I…WAAAANT…A-Lolly…POP!” Arms folded, shoulders pushed up, lips pursed, eyebrows furrowed, and stomping away from her parents. Yep, she was mad. She went on to say, as she threw her arms in the air, that this confection was all she had wanted this whole trip and, in her opinion, all her hopes and joys were riding on receiving one of those big, rainbow colored delights on a stick! The dad was great, he squatted down, putting his arm around her and began share with her all the fun they had as a family; enjoying each other, the rides, the experiences, the characters. A faint smile came over her face, then a giggle as she must have remembered some great experience, then an embrace. This dad was amazing, redirecting her hope onto something more lasting, more meaningful, more valuable than a temporary want satisfied.
Too often we set our hope on objects that don’t last, or high, even unrealistic, expectations, or in not-so-good-for-us wants that have no lasting value. What we put our hope in matters; it changes our outlook, it gives us energy to make it through tough times, it fuels our passions, it motivates our drives, it sustains us in our suffering. Hope is an essential in life. The question is…in what do you hope?
Hope is what this week in history is all about. This week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, is called Holy Week or Passion Week. It is the week Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, taught and expounded on hope, only to be put on trial, convicted, sentenced to death on a cross, and buried in a borrowed tomb.
It was a week where people’s hopes were frustrated. On that Palm Sunday, the majority of Jesus’ followers thought Jesus was going to set up His kingdom right then and there (see Matthew 21:1-11). That is why they hailed Him as king, laying down palm branches and crying out ‘Hosanna,’ an expression of hopeful praise and adoration that Jesus was going to throw out the Roman oppressors and satisfy their sweet longing to be free. Yet, Jesus was redirecting their hope.
John 10:9-10 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Still that week on Thursday, as Jesus’ disciples gathered in that upper room to experience the hope-centered ceremony of Passover, Jesus redirected their hope (see John 13:1-38).
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Friday was a hope-crushing day for Jesus’ disciples as Jesus was crucified (see John 19:16-30). Their hopes and dreams died with Jesus as He was laid in a tomb. Yet something amazing was coming that would ignite their hope and solidify their hope-giving faith. Jesus redirected their hope as He rose from the dead Sunday morning! (see John 20:1-29).
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The redirection of hope comes as we turn in faith and place our trust (belief) in Jesus. He is a hope that does not disappoint.
Like that little girl, we can set our hope on things that just don’t or won’t deliver, yet Jesus can bring great hope. Jesus redirected hope during that week way back in history and has continued, even for you. He can bring joy and the warm embrace of a lasting love. Why not look deeper into Jesus?
Church is a great place to investigate Jesus, especially during Easter week. If you are not already planning to attend a church sometime this week, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches in either Los Alamitos or Garden Grove this Easter week. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net
This could be just the hope redirecting you are looking for.
Seeking the redirection of hope Jesus can bring with you,