The hope will cost you
Acts 26:6 “And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today.”
Paul knows why he is on trial. He knows it is because he truly believes that the Old Testament hope is found in Jesus. All that the writers, prophets and priests longed for, the coming Messiah, is now found in Jesus. The hope has come. He knows it and believes it but the Jewish mob missed it.
An atheist website recently cancelled its event called, ‘A Reason To Hope’ because of the lack of interest in it. Clearly people were not bothered with what they had to offer.
A little boy was found waiting at the foot of an escalator in a shopping mall. He was watching the hand rail going round and round. A concerned security guard asked him if he was lost or needed help. He said “No I’m just waiting for my chewing gum to come back”. Quite a good definition of hope perhaps.
But today Jesus is still the hope of the Old Testament. He is still the hope for the world.
Yet holding to Him as such puts Christians in many dangers around the world.
On January 15th Boko Haram burnt down 2 churches on the border of Cameroon and Nigeria.
On January 18th 6 Christians in Yunnan province, China, were jailed for 13 years for preaching Jesus.
On January 23rd Muslim High school students in Nairobi, Kenya, beat and stabbed Christians who refused to convert to Islam.
I could go on and you know so many stories. Today the family of God who hold to the hope of the world are paying the price.
We are called to pay the price for the hope. Whatever that cost looks like for you, it has to be paid.
The hope can put you on trial. It can cost your life. It demands your all.