Coming to Grips With Hope

9 Feb

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.  John 16:20

Jesus often uses the word verily before making statements that are controversial or difficult to believe.  When He repeats verily it was an indication to take special note of the statement that follows.  (By the way, this would make an interesting Bible study–doing a concordance search of all the times Jesus used the word verily.)  The word verily is the word amen in Greek.

The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related — in fact, almost identical — to the Hebrew word for “believe” (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly”, an expression of absolute trust and confidence. (Online Bible Greek Lexicon)

In context of John 16:20, Jesus is speaking of His crucifixion and resurrection.  He knew that it would be difficult for his followers to believe that He would come back from the grave and so He called attention to the trueness of His statement by repeating the word verily. Truly, truly, he said.  So be it, so be it.  This is really going to happen!! Listen up!!!  As a result of His resurrection and ascension we have a living hope:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3

This living hope is vigorous and alive and is restored as we meditate on the resurrection moment by moment in our lives.  Allowing hope to be extinguished goes against our nature as members of God’s family.  We must pray for hope to be sparked and renewed when it seems to flicker out.

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