Jesus is our hope…
I suppose in my lifetime, the man who seemed to have it most together, the man who throughout the whole specter of the world’s lifestyle, world’s religion…throughout all of the demonstration of popularity and media and all of those things, the man who stands out as the man, at least in my lifetime, that the world thought had it most together, was Mahatma Gandhi…Seemed to be at peace. Seemed to have absolute tranquility of soul. Seemed to know nothing of fear…
Fifteen years before Gandhi’s death, he wrote this. “I must tell you in all humility that Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul. It fills my whole being, and I find a solace in the Bhagavad and Upanishads that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount.” Utterly at peace, utterly comfortable with his Hinduism. Just before his death, he wrote this. “My days are numbered. I am not likely to live very long, perhaps a year or a little more. For the first time in 50 years, I find myself in the slew of despond.” Footnote: It was interesting. He must have been reading Pilgrim’s Progress. Then he said this. “All about me is darkness, and I am desperately praying for light.” Even Mahatma Gandhi, who seemed to have it all together as he began to face the inevitability of death, saw it all falling apart…
Hope is a much stronger word in the Bible than it is for most of us today. The hope of deliverance and resurrection is based solidly on the promise of an almighty truth-telling, covenant-keeping God who never fails and is never thwarted, who always keeps his promises. Whenever we hope for what God has promised, we don’t wish for a possibility; we anticipate a certainty.
Jesus is our Hope. Jesus is our… what? [pause for them to finish the sentence]
Today, I wish to talk about Jesus as our hope for the future.
My theme is just that. My theme: Jesus is our hope for the future.
- First, Jesus told us about this when He instituted communion.
- Read with me Matthew 26:29, Jesus is sharing communion with the disciples. Jesus says: I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
- In this passage Jesus is referring to what we now call the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”
- This was common back in that day. Hebrew weddings consisted of three phases: 1) betrothal (often when the couple were children); 2) presentation (the festivities, often lasting several days, that preceded the ceremony); and 3) the ceremony (the exchanging of vows). The church was betrothed to Christ by his sovereign choice in eternity past (Eph. 1:4; Heb. 13:20) and will be presented to him at the rapture (John 14:1–3; 1 Thess. 4:13–18). The final supper will signify the end of the ceremony. This symbolic meal will take place at the establishment of the millennial kingdom and last throughout that 1,000-year period (cf. Rev. 21:2). While the term “bride” often refers to the church, and does so here (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22–24), it ultimately expands to include all the redeemed of all ages, which becomes clear in the remainder of the book.”
- The last supper was a type of covenant ceremony but also a type of engagement ceremony.
- A long time ago I was taught that a bride and groom would get engaged and then the groom goes to prepare a place for the bride. We are the bride and Jesus is preparing a place for us right now. (John 14:1-6)
- Paul told us about this when he reminded them of the institution of communion.
- In 1 Cor. 11:26: For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
- We are waiting on Jesus and then we will take communion with Him.
- We are waiting on our Hope. Hope is critical:
Researchers conducted a study on stress with Israeli soldiers. They assured one group that the march would end at a certain point but kept the other group in the dark. Although both groups marched an identical distance, those who didn’t know how long they would march registered a much higher level of stress. Why? Because they had no hope, no tangible assurance that the forced march would end. They felt helpless, wondering when, or if, they could ever rest.
- Jesus is our hope and He will come and set things right.
- In Rev. 19:7-9 we see the marriage Supper of the Lamb.
- This is right after the Battle of Armageddon and right before the Millennial Reign.
- Read this passage with me: Rev. 19:7-9:
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
- So, you see, that is marriage.
- In the end we are united with our Savior.
- Jesus will make things right and then we dine with Him.
- Jesus at the Last Supper said that He was not going to drink of the wine until He drinks it with us.
- That is this time, in Rev. 19:7-9, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
- As Christians we will be with Him.
- This Savior, we celebrate His birth, He is our hope for the future.
John Piper writes:
And every name for Jesus is full of hope.
- As Emmanuel (Isaiah 8:8) — “God with us” — he will pay the ransom that only a God-man can pay.
- As Rod of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), springing from a dead stump, he will free his people, by death and resurrection, from Satan’s tyranny, and make them free forever.
- As the Day-spring (Luke 1:78) — the dawn of God’s Kingdom — he will be the light of the world, and banish the hopelessness of darkness.
- As the Key of David (Isaiah 22:2), he rescues us from hell, locks the door behind us, unlocks the door of heaven, and brings us home.
- And as the Desire of nations (Haggai 2:7), he will draw the ransomed from every people and make them a kingdom of peace.
This is who Jesus is. This is what he already achieved and will complete. And so with every verse [of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”], the refrain reaches down musically into our weak hearts and pull us up, in faith, to see the certainty of the end.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Artistically, the rhythm of plaintive longing in the verses, punctuated with powerful bursts of joy in the refrain, are, to my mind, just about perfect. The mystery and the wonder of Christian living are captured. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Already. But not yet. Fulfillment of glorious promises — yes! But consummation in the new earth with new bodies and no sin — not yet. We are left confident, but still crying out: “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”
Do you know Christ?
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
 MacArthur Study Bible