Have you ever waited in anticipation of something special? Of course you have! Maybe you were waiting for your birthday and the anticipation of a special gift you just knew you would receive. Maybe you were waiting for winter weather to end and spring to begin with warmer temperatures, plants blooming and the birds singing each morning. Perhaps you expect your NCAA bracket picks to be right. Most of the positive things that we anticipate could be thought of with the word hope attached. I hope that spring is coming. I hope that I receive the gift that I want. I hope that my new kitchen will meet all of our needs.
Yup, you caught that. We are having our kitchen redone. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed our 1950's vintage kitchen since we bought our house in 2010. But it is time to get rid of the shallow, yellow one tub sink. It is time for the metal cabinets to find a new home and for the small oven to be replaced with one that will hold my cookie sheets. To have a functioning dish washer, more counter space and more cabinets will hopefully ease the daily routine.
As we enter the month of April, we are currently part way though the season of Lent. The time when we think of Jesus in the wilderness. A time when many either give up something or begin something new. All are things to make us more aware of Jesus and His work in our lives.
Hope. That was what the disciples surely felt as they walked with Jesus during His last month on earth. Hope for the future. Hope that the miracles would continue. Hope that the crowds would increase. Hope that this Kingdom on earth was close to being reality. HOPE! The disciples must have been beside themselves with excitement as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday.
The crowds, the shouts of joy, the wonder of what would happen next would have been beyond anything they might have expected. The celebration of Passover with Jesus would have been expected. Jesus washing their feet and His words about this bread being my body and this drink being my blood might have brought some doubts. During that meal and certainly following, while they were in the garden and Jesus was in prayer, someone had to begin to get that nagging feeling that things weren't really what they were hoping they would be. The proclamation that Peter, the most verbal if not the most devoted, would deny knowing Jesus would have created concern. The quick exit of Judas, to take care of other matters, might have raised at least one set of eyebrows. Yes, the disciples were going to see their hope shattered. They had sorrow to face. Now they were certain that everything they hoped for would never happen now. Check it out in John chapters 12 to 21.
Yet, in it all, their hope was fulfilled. Hope realized. Their expectations of an earthly kingdom were replaced with the promise of a heavenly kingdom. Their celebration of Passover would never be the same as they had new ways to think about the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the bread and the cup.
During the remainder of Lent, Holy Week and especially on Easter Sunday morning, join with us in remembering all Jesus has done for you. Participate with the hope that comes from being a new creation in Christ Jesus. Getting a kitchen redo is exciting, but this season is by far the most exciting. Nothing compares to the hope that we find in Easter morning.