Yesterday I was reading in Job; it was a portion of his dialogue with his "friends". What stood out to me was the hopelessness that he was conveying to them. He saw no avenue to take for things to get any better. Have you ever been there? Have you ever faced a specific battle for so long that it seems to have become an endless war with no end? Have you ever lost hope?
I have never been in the position that Job was in, but I have experienced the feeling of "is this ever going to get any better?" The feeling that hope is slipping through my fingertips. We know the saying that you can live so long without food and without water, but only a very minute time without hope. It keeps us moving forward. It encourages the faith that we live by, as it is the future tangibility of that faith that we profess.
I present to you today a combination of Scriptures that I pray will stir hope in each one of us. Look with me at the cross of Jesus Christ. See the Man covered in His own blood, suffocating from the position He is forced to endure for a few hours. Watch as He forgives those who have betrayed and hurt Him. Gaze as the Son of God scorns the shame He is carrying for us...on display for the enemy to ironically get his hopes up for victory. Can you see Him? Can you hear the anguish in His last breaths? Can you hear the despair as He cries out to His Father?
Now, come with me to the temple. Walk with me through the outer and the inner courts, as we dare to approach the Most Holy Place where we do not belong. Look at the veil that has been put in place to separate this room from the rest, as it is only to be entered at a specific time by a specific person. Look...it is torn in two, from top to bottom.
Remember the Man who we just looked upon, the One who was marred beyond human likeness? Remember how His flesh had been brutally treated, how His blood covered Him? Look at the veil. Look at how it has been torn apart so that we can enter.
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way opened for us through the curtain of His body..."
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain..."
As Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He wasn't tearing the veil open for us...He was the veil being torn for us. He is the only Way to the Presence of the Father. We have fled to take hold of hope that is our anchor behind the veil. The song lyric resounds in me this morning: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." My hope is in Him. Though some battles seem unending, and some circumstances threaten my hope...I stand firm that my hope is not in those circumstances. It is in the One who won every battle on that cross.
Lord, all my hope is in You. If I ever dare to place hope in temporal things, please bring me to the cross again. Please bring me behind the veil again. In Jesus' Name I pray. In Jesus' Name I hope. Amen.