In Luke 24 we have the amazing story of two disciples who had followed Jesus for three years. They loved Jesus. And were close to Him.
One day they were walking on the road back to Emmaus when Jesus joined them. Yet, they were so discouraged over His death they didn't even recognize Him. Because of what I call "mistaken contemplation," they had lost all hope.
What do I mean by "mistaken contemplation"? Simply this: We take our eyes off the risen Christ and instead focus on our problems. And what happens when we do that? We quickly lose hope.
Throughout my life, when I find myself facing a major crisis or dilemma, I tend to be the kind of person whose vision becomes blurred, and I can't see clearly. In these moments I find my perceptions are shot.
Why? Because my contemplations are all one-sided. And I often shut out the very people who can deliver me from my mistaken contemplation.
Now, I have a feeling you probably struggle in the same way...just like these two disciples from Emmaus. Notice that their vision was blurred about the very person who was walking and talking to them. Their contemplations were entirely wrong.
The One whose death they were mourning was alive and talking with them, but they did not realize it because their focus was on the wrong thing. The very One whose death they were feeling so deeply was in fact alive and with them, yet their vision was blurred. Their contemplation was one-sided.
But notice what happened when they suddenly recognized who Jesus was...they became changed people!
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread.
They walked back immediately that night on that dangerous road to Jerusalem to give witness. Their safety did not mean a great deal to them, because they had seen the risen Christ!
They moved from fear to courage. They went from pain to joy. They were transformed from hopelessness into hope.
My friend, that is the story of Easter. No matter how hopeless your situation might seem, the Lord is there. He knows and understands. And when you take your eyes off your problems and place them on the risen Christ you will find genuine hope. Just like these two disciples from Emmaus.
You can live a life filled with hope, but only as you make Jesus...our risen Lord...the focus of your contemplation. When you do, you will find that any other focus is indeed a mistaken contemplation!