“We can live each day with hope and confidence because God owns our story.”
When I was a kid, there were books where you could choose your own adventure. You got to decide what the main character should do next. Should he enter the mysterious tunnel or turn back through the woods? The best part was that you were in charge. But you were always a bit worried, hoping you had chosen well. One bad decision could lead to a disastrous ending.
I wonder if the disciples sensed during the last Passover meal that they were nearing a critical juncture of their story. In Matthew 26, Jesus gives them a clear hint at what was coming: “My appointed time is near” (v. 18). This wasn’t the first time He had spoken of His death and resurrection, but the disciples failed to understand.
During the meal, Jesus told them surprising things: one of them would betray Him (v. 21), they would fall away, and Peter would deny Him three times (vv. 31–35). And over the next few days, those things happened. To top that, the Teacher they loved was arrested, tried, and crucified. I’m sure they wanted Jesus to come down from the cross and slay the soldiers. They never thought He would die a horrible death.
I can only imagine their grief and confusion. They probably felt like they’d failed. Their story had ended badly. You and I know how that feels. Sometimes our lives don’t turn out the way we expected. A close friend dies of cancer. We lose a job. A family member faces addiction. We may think, “God, I thought it would end differently.” But we can find great comfort by turning our attention to the Resurrection, to what happened next.
God gave the disciples an ending they never expected. Matthew 28 begins: “There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it” (v 2). Jesus was not dead; He had risen! First Peter 1:3 tells us “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Friend, you and I do not need to blindly turn the pages of our lives, hoping for the best possible ending. We can live each day with hope and confidence because God owns our story. We serve a risen Savior who conquered the grave and has secured our eternal future.