Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, July 24, 2019
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 24 July 2021 15th of Av, 5781 Parashat Vaetchanan Tu B’Av Shabbat Nachamu
De 6:4-7:11 Isa 40:1-26 1 Pe 1:18-25
Hope – part 8: Ultimate Hope by David Harwood
When Paul wrote of hope in his letter to Rome his primary emphasis was on eschatological hope. This is true in all of the other Apostolic Writings. For the purpose of making my meaning plain I shall refer to Eschatological Hope as Ultimate Hope.
Here’s an example of Ultimate Hope in Romans.
Through Him we also have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of God’s glory. (Romans 5:2 TLV)
Through faith we enter into the sphere of saving favor and take our stand in Yeshua’s righteousness. We stand and exult in the anticipation that we shall have a participation in the glory of God.
What is the expectation of the glory of God? What is this hope?
This hope should never be divorced from Israel’s eschatological expectations. That Ultimate Hope was explicitly emphasized by Paul. We read of this towards the end of Acts.
A Pharisee, a devotee of the Messiah, Yeshua – who was raised from the dead, Paul cried out…
“Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees! I am on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” (Acts 23:6b TLV)
Paul, desperate, on trial for his life, proclaimed the Messiah’s resurrection within the context of Israel’s hope: the resurrection from the dead. That was his testimony before the Sanhedrin.
He continued this line of defense before Felix, the Hegemon (governor).
15 In God I have a hope—which these men also wait for—that there will surely be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. (Acts 24:15 TLV)
Again, his life in the balance, we see the same emphasis before King Agrippa.
Yet now I stand here being judged for the hope in the promise made by God to our fathers. It is the promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jewish people, O King! (Acts 26:6-7 TLV)
The shaliach (apostle) spoke of a) the hope and resurrection of the dead, b) the resurrection of the righteous, c) the promise God made to the patriarchs. He spoke of Ultimate Hope.
Paul took the Ultimate Hope seriously. How seriously? He wrote of his passionate pursuit of the knowledge of the Messiah as a means to an end! What was the goal? To participate in the resurrection of the blessed. Consider these familiar verses.
My aim is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death—if somehow I might arrive at the resurrection from among the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11 TLV)
When someone reads Philippians 3:10-11 they find that Paul did not exemplify a form of spiritual altruism. He was not devoid of self-interest. He was definitely concerned about himself. He did not write:
That I might know Him because He is so wonderful.
That I might know Him because He is my first love and nothing else counts!
That I might know Him because He has captured my heart
Paul wanted to know Yeshua so that he might attain to the resurrection from the dead. The resurrection from the dead is the Ultimate Hope. The Ultimate Hope is our Ultimate Goal.
In Colossians Paul wrote of the hope of Glory.
God chose to make known to them this glorious mystery regarding the Gentiles—which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27 TLV)
What is this hope of glory? It is our Ultimate Hope. Paul wrote of it later in Philippians 3. Take a look.
…we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. He will transform this humble body of ours into the likeness of His glorious body, through the power that enables Him even to put all things in subjection to Himself. (Philippians 3:20b–21 TLV)
The Resurrection of the Righteous is when the hope of glory is experienced. This will transpire at the time of the Lord’s return. It will happen in a moment.
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52 TLV)
That is the Ultimate Hope. This hope was specifically spelled out at the end of the Book of Daniel.
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake—some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse. And those who turn many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:2–3 TLV)
Here is the record of when Yeshua reiterated and personalized this prophecy. God Incarnate said:
… an hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out! Those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28b–29 TLV)
If you have been born from above, then the Spirit of God lives in you. If He lives in you, you qualify for this resurrection. Let’s rehearse this truth found in Romans 8:11.
And if the Ruach of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Ruach who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 TLV)
This life is eternal resurrection life. It occurs at the moment the children of God are revealed. Is this something to which we look forward? Please read these verses and see.
For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of the One who subjected it—in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans together and suffers birth pains until now—and not only creation, but even ourselves. We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Ruach, groan inwardly as we eagerly wait for adoption—the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:18–23 TLV)
This is what we’re waiting for. We await and anticipate. It is the ultimate hope.
Loved ones, now we are God’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2–3 TLV)
You will be like Yeshua. You will see Him just like He is.
Make this expectation your own. Possess it by faith. Think about this hope. Participation in the age to come is going to be amazing. Every promise God ever made will come to pass.
Ultimate Hope is the anticipation of the culmination of our salvation.
so also Messiah, was offered once to bear the sins of many. He will appear a second time, apart from sin, to those eagerly awaiting Him for salvation. (Hebrews 9:28 TLV)
Here’s an open secret: Every hope you have for God’s intervention in this life follows the pattern of Ultimate Hope. Cultivate a healthy expectation of the hope of glory. As you do, you strengthen your soul and are able to see every circumstance through the eyes of that hope.
Consider again Romans 8:18
For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18 TLV)
Now that… that’s hope!
Abba, You are the God of Ultimate Hope.
Please fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You, so that I will abound in confident expectation by the power of Your Ruach ha-Kodesh.
I ask this in the name of Yeshua the Messiah. Amen.