It’s hard to fathom why the world doesn’t look any better than it does if our Redeemer was born to us 2000 some years ago. That question is a burden I carry often. With a national tragedy last week, is it disingenuous to celebrate the birth of a Savior-Jesus next week?
If you look at the prophecy of Simeon upon Jesus at his infant dedication, we get a lead on what’s going on: “…he’s destined to cause the fall and rise of many…” - Luke 2:34-35. In other words, his redemption is received by some, and just down right confusing to comprehend by others (II Corinthians 2:15-16). It makes sense that the viewable state of redemption doesn’t make sense… if you’re following me.
Jesus brought redemption to us in the form of repentance, forgiveness, and faith… all things that could have turned a gunman’s heart had he received them. Those are important things, even if that doesn’t complete the picture.
The most important aspect of Jesus’ redemption to understand in times like this is hope. Hope acknowledges that our redemption is already here (in part), and still yet to come (in full). Hope is what gives us a firm anchor of perseverance now (I Corinthians 13:13, Colossians 1:27, Romans 8:24-25), while we are waiting for what he will do with the world at a time to come (Mark 13:26, Revelations 21:1,3-5). Hope is not a wishy-washy kind of thing – it is a sure expectation that our Redeemer will in fact redeem all things in the end.
We can make a better world now by applying the redemption of Jesus, but still are honest with the fact that we’re not there yet, and are waiting on him in hope.
-Brian Hofmeister, Lead Pastor