“But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.” (Luke 24:21, NIV84)
If hope is more a certainty than a wish, then there is nothing worse than being certain in your hope for the future and not having it come to be. The verse above is from the account of two disciples on their way home on Easter morning because Jesus had been dead for 3 days and nothing was turning out like they had hoped. They were certain that Jesus was the Messiah. They were certain that He would be the one to redeem Israel. Jesus, 3 days dead and now with rumors that He was no longer in the tomb — it was too much for these two disciples. They were going home wounded and confused. Into this scene entered Jesus, but the disciples did not recognize Him. Jesus opened up the meaning of the scriptures to them and they began to understand. Jesus then broke bread during a meal with them and finally the light bulb went on in their spiritual minds and they recognized Jesus, and He left them.
There was nothing wrong with their hope. Jesus was and is the Messiah and did redeem Israel (and us) from all that is broken in us. Their problem was that they had used their reason to decide what kind of Messiah Jesus would be. Jesus’ death and resurrection was not reasoned into their concept of the Messiah. Once the Scriptures were opened up to them by Jesus they fully understood what their hope should have been rooted in. The point I am trying to make is that often we have the right (certain) hope, but when it doesn’t end up like we thought it would we get down and despair. We have to be certain that our hope is rooted in God’s eternal truths and not our reasoning and feelings. Imagine how the two disciples felt once Jesus had explained everything to them and corrected their perspective. They almost missed it. But as always, Jesus pursued them (like He does us) on the road to Emmaus and restored their hope.
Today, may Jesus, and His word, be the source of our hope.