Verse 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but He can’t save Himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him.”
We have been talking about how hope can mislead us if our hope is in the wrong thing. Today we see how failure to have the correct hope in Christ leads us to not trust Him as the Savior.
We have seen how the people of God had looked for the Promised One for generations, we have talked about how Jesus’ townsfolk discounted who He was because they couldn’t bring themselves to believe it would be Him. In our reading today we see more people mocking Him because they refused to see the One they say they are hoping for.
The Jewish leaders in Jesus’ time had lost their sense of true hope in the coming of the Messiah they claimed to want. They were focused on what would best fit their ideal of a Messiah and therefore missed the Promised One in front of them. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they came to hate this One sent from God because He led people to question their authority. They didn’t want a Messiah who wouldn’t live by their rules.
The leader’s pride was so much stronger than their hope in God’s promise that they missed all the signs which were prophesied about the coming Messiah. These men, were supposed to be more knowledgeable about the One promised because they were believed to know the Scriptures better than the average person. But they didn’t seem to care what the prophets had foretold about the coming Messiah because they were more concerned about making sure people agreed with them. They were totally missing the point of a Redeemer coming.
We tend to miss the point of Jesus coming too. He is the one hope that has eternal value. There are so many things to hope for but each of those have little to no eternal value. That is the same thing the Jews were missing in their hopes for the Messiah. They were hoping for freedom from the Romans when God was wanting to give them hope through the forgiveness of sins. The massive mistake these religious leaders were making, regarding Jesus being the Promised One, is the very reason we take hope in the celebration of His birth. It was their hate that was God’s plan for redemption.
Making It Personal
Do you struggle with the thought that Jesus is the only hope which has eternal value? What is something you have been hoping for which only has earthy value? What do you hope for which has eternal value?
Making It Personal Kids
Why did Jesus come to earth? Why did He have to die? Can you hope for eternal life because of His death?
Father, forgive us for the times we miss setting our hope in You because we miss who You really are. Help us hope for You more than we hope for anything else. In Jesus’ name, amen.