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Archive for the ‘Good Friday and the Resurrection’ Category

"There never was much hope," he answered. "Just a fool’s hope as I have been told." (Gandalf answering Pippin’s question, "Is there any hope? For Frodo, I mean; or at least mostly for Frodo." – The Return of the King, book 5, chapter 4).

I read this quote on Good Friday. It was always one of my favorite quotes from the trilogy. The timing of my reading couldn’t have been more perfect. First Corinthians 1:18-31 is the passage LOTR fans use with the above quote — "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things?and the things that are not?to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God?that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’"

However, my thoughts turn to the followers of Jesus as they watched him die on that Friday and went through that entire Saturday in grief and, probably, fear that they might be next. Certainly some of them felt like fools. Maybe a small minority of them held on to hope, a fool’s hope, that Jesus would rise again, but Scripture seems to paint the followers of Jesus as having no idea the Messiah was supposed to die and rise again. We who continue to hope in the Lord are counted as fools to the "wise" and as weak to the "strong." In our dark days, the world, our enemy and our own thougts will ask the question, "Is there any hope?" As we grow in knowledge of the word of God and, more importantly, in the God of the word, we can confidently answer, "Just a fool’s hope." — For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

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