Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good Hope Road

“About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet,
powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
The chief priests and our rulers handed him over
to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;
but we had hoped that he was the one
who was going to redeem Israel.”
Luke 24:20-21a (NIV®)

They walked toward Emmaus on the third day. Everything had gone wrong.

They had thought their leader, their friend, would deliver them from . . . from everything. The Romans. The idols. The unfairness. The have-nots would have and the sinners would repent and the tide of evil would turn and all would be well. And soon. Like by, say, Tuesday.

But now it was the third day and the latest in a long line of prophets, the greatest ever sent to Israel, had met the same faith of the others before. God kept sending Israel prophets. And Israel kept killing them.

“We had hoped he was the one . . .."

The road to Emmaus hasn't changed. The questions and the disappointment and the heartache and the faithlessness spring up like so many billboards. Hope, it seems, is gone.

But think again of our travelers on that third day. They are not unlike us, are they? It was a while into the evening before they realized it, but the hope they thought was gone had been walking with them all along. The hope walks beside us still.

The Passion is as alive today as it was two days before the walk that Luke recorded, as alive as it was 1,000 years later, as alive as it will be this coming Easter. In “The Way of the Cross,” G. K. Chesterton reminds us that the Passion is alive always, alive because “the very blast from this black cloud of death comes upon the world as a wind of everlasting life; by which all things wake and are alive.”

Wake up on the road. It’s time to live. It’s Easter. It always is.