Always Hope

John 20:11-18  Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

With Jesus, there's always hope.

Nobody had expected a resurrection. Not Mary, not Peter, not John, or any of Jesus’ core team of disciples. Their heads were still spinning after Friday’s events, and they had fled the scene to return to life as normal—or was it? After Jesus’ death on the cross, the game was over. Three years were over. Hope was over.

Or so they thought.

The last place they expected to see Jesus alive was the garden tomb. Peter and the other disciples probably were wary of even going near the place where Jesus’ body had been laid. They had distanced themselves from the tomb since that terrible night, thinking about Jesus but also concerned that they might be next.

But the garden tomb was exactly the place Jesus showed up. Resurrected. Conquering sin and death once and for all.

With Jesus, there's always hope.

There's hope in tombs and gardens. There's hope in dark nights and at wells, and on the roof of someone's house. There's hope whether you're hiding in your tree or gathered in a hungry crowd. There's hope for soldiers and tax collectors and religious people and non-religious people. There's hope at the sea and hope in the city, hope in a friend’s living room and in a loved one's last breaths. 

Jesus always keeps his promise to show up, to meet us where we are, to finish what he started, to give us hope. No matter what.

Whatever you're facing today, whatever you'll face tomorrow, will you choose him? Will you choose hope?