As the snow transforms into streams of water trickling through a thick forest and flowers push their colorful heads through the surface dirt with faces to the sun, we feel the weight of winter lift into the overhead sky of blue. Celebration rings in our hearts and thoughts of Easter, the hope of spring, dances in our imaginations. We kindle dreams of Easter egg hunts with little ones, flip through photos of pastel-color frosted cookies, and think of family traditions. In our family, making an Italian Easter Bread with colored eggs was a tradition symbolizing the rising of Christ.
But is this really our hope for Easter?
Will you walk with me through the ancient cobblestone streets of Jerusalem during a festival to find the road that leads to Hope? Let’s flip back the pages of history to a highly anticipated time of fulfillment for Jewish prophecy. And there, we’ll find the solid foundation of our hope.
Palm branches swiftly cut down stretched across the dusty Jerusalem road as the gathering crowd roared, “Hosanna in the highest…Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” Mark 11:9-10. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.” Luke 19:38
The crowds sang out not realizing they were fulfilling the words of the prophet, Zechariah. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9
Amidst the cries of Hosanna in the Highest, Jesus knew what lay ahead of Him. The road marked with suffering. The praises He heard today would turn into angry shouts to crucify Him in less than a week’s time.
Yet, He put His face toward the task that lay in front of Him. Preparation for the Passover meal with His closest friends and followers had to take place. The designated twelve apostles, still learning and stumbling, not sure where the road led, found an Upper Room where they could rejoice in this holy celebration of the Jewish people.
Jesus knew that evening would hold both betrayal and hope. His hope was grounded in His Father’s love for Him and their love for us. Jesus looked with agony toward that cross, yet held onto the hope of salvation that cross carried for us.
Hope, in Biblical terms, “describes the happy anticipation of good,” according to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. “It has to do with the unseen and the future.”
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were encouraged to wait for God hopefully, expectantly. In Psalm 130:7&8, they are promised a redeemer: “O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love, and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”
At the cross, Jesus (both God and man) becomes that unblemished sacrifice for our sins. As we grieve at the price Jesus paid for our sins, we rejoice because of the hope of salvation He brings.
But if we leave the story at the cross, our hope would be empty. Jesus would have been another prophet or teacher.
The Easter Resurrection is OUR HOPE! It proves He is the Son of God. Because Christ rose from the dead, we who believe in Him and follow Him as our Lord shall also rise from the dead! Raise the Halleluiah! (See 2Cor. 15:20-22)
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:5
Let’s run to the empty tomb like the women on the morning of Jesus’ Resurrection and Rejoice!
He is alive! He is bringing you hope for eternal life but also for this life. He is our hope in the storms of live and will carry us through because of His great love for us.
Make those Easter cookies, traditions, and celebrations, remembering that you have Hope because of Jesus’ Resurrection.
» Read more by Blogger and Author Janis Van Keuren @ https://janisvankeuren.com/
Janis is an award-winning writer/editor with nearly 25 years experience as a journalist. As a freelance writer, Janis’ articles and devotionals have appeared in a variety of publications including a Guideposts Compilations Book, “Divine Interventions: Heartwarming Answers to Prayer,” “4 Touscan,” “Evangel,” “The Vision,” “A Christmas Anthology” by Donna Goodrich, and other publications. Janis can be found writing devotional inspirations for women at her new website, http://www.janisvankeuren.com. Her focus is to encourage women to find God’s fingerprint in their lives through other women’s stories.
Janis and her husband, Tom, have been married for 44 years and have two adopted adult sons. She’s a desert dweller who still loves the ocean yet rejoices at God’s majestic creations surrounding her home