Read Matthew 28
It’s 2021! Normally every year I’ll sit down and write out my resolutions for the year. Often they’re things like “I’m going to do my homework on time” or “I’m going to be the buffest guy in the world”. You know, the regular resolutions we all have. (Right?)
This year however, I don’t have the inclination to make resolutions. In fact, I’m a bit scared of the future. After the events of this last year, I feel a sense of anxiety when I think of the future. I’ve begun asking myself questions like:
Is it even possible for things to be good anymore?
Will I find some kind of rest this year?
Will we ever get the new James Bond movie?
Maybe you can relate to these questions (the last one might just be me). After a year like 2020 I’m finding that many of us are afraid to hope for good things in the new year. We're afraid to try and make the best of this year. We’re afraid that this year will be just like last year. If this is you, I want to offer some encouragement that I’ve found by reading Matthew’s Gospel.
In the last two chapters of Matthew’s gospel we find Jesus’s disciples down and discouraged. Jesus, the man who they loved and followed with everything they had, was put to death by the Roman government. They witnessed the fall of their Messiah. A truly heartbreaking event.
Now they found themselves alone and afraid to leave their homes. I can imagine some of the things they may have been thinking.
“I thought Jesus had a plan?”
“I thought we were on the winning side?”
“Is anything that we experienced actually true?”
“Hope is lost”
The questions and frustration they felt were real and truly heartbreaking. Everything they had done for the last three years of their lives seemed to have fallen apart. The hope that had inspired them for the last three years had gone out. They found themselves alone and without hope.
I think after 2020, we feel the same way as the disciples. All the hopes and dreams we had now feel as though they have crashed and burned, and as a result, the future doesn’t seem like it can be good. It feels as though the hope that we once had has gone out. These feelings are real and it is important that we recognize that.
Yet there is hope. Hope is not dead. Hope is alive because Jesus is alive. Although crucified, Jesus rose again in his glory and his majesty. Death was not able to hold Jesus down. Not only that, but in the final moments of his time on earth Jesus said this in the final verse of Matthew 28:
“… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In one final statement Jesus reinstates hope. Forever and always hope is tangible and readily available because Jesus is alive. Our hope is in Jesus and his life. If he is with us, then we have all that we need to make it through this year. I pray this year you wouldn’t focus on resolutions but you would focus on Jesus. We don’t need an easy year, what we need is Jesus. With Jesus we have everything we need to make it through another day. May you be filled with the hope that comes with knowing that Jesus is with us forever.
Author: Andy Palomares, Youth Pastor at Crosswalk SDA Church