Good Friday was terrible to The Eleven (Judas seems to have already killed himself . . . to be or not to be . . . to obey or not to obey . . . ) and probably to Jesus’s mom and the other disciples too. Perhaps they might have called it “Failure Friday”. The Hope of Israel has been slain like a typical rebel against the Roman Establishment. In despair, Jesus’ body was sown into the dark of the earth, in a tomb. What was planted that day?
When we say “hope” these days we often mean something other than how I am meaning now. In Southern California we say, “I hope it snows tomorrow and school is cancelled.” But near the Pacific where I went to high school it only snows about every 10 years, if that, and I cannot recall a time it did not melt immediately when it hit the ground. So when we say, “I hope it snows so school is cancelled”, we still do our homework and make plans to go to school the next morning. We say “hope” to talk about wishful, dreamy, even whimsical ideas. And we don’t have much reason to believe these wishes will come true.
Hope is also a town in British Columbia. I’ve been beyond Hope, in both directions on the Trans-Canada Highway. While being beyond or without hope is not recommended, travelling near or beyond Hope, B.C. is encouraged.
I’m not typing about a town either. When I type “hope” I mean something else. The Hope of Humanity is a person, He is the First Fruits of the Resurrection. When Paul said something like,
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (ESV translation)
he does not mean we grieve like we are the Best Wishful Thinkers, changing the world with our Positive Disney Thinking. We don’t “Wish upon a star.” We know the Star Maker and believe, for good reason, that the One who resurrected the Hope of Humanity, will likewise resurrect us. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, especially chapter 15 is good reading on this.
In glory, he was resurrected in bodily form on the third day. If his body is a seed, how glorious is the plant who is alive?