Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.



March 2013



Jesus Christ: The True Hope Giver

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susan-boyle-filmThere was strong reason why Susan Boyle’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent in April of 2009 received 100 million views in the first nine days online.  It was absolutely astonishing to watch a 47 year old woman, frumpy by any standards, stand before an audience of doubters and scoffers and bring them to cheers and tears by the sound of her voice. We love to watch the underdog climb to the top, and Susan Boyle certainly did that with her singing voice.

However, there was another reason for her viral popularity around the world, and it is found in the emotional pull of the song she sang, “I Dreamed a Dream” from the Les Miserables. The English lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer which were based on the original French libretto by Alain Boublil.  The song resonates with the human experience as it speaks of dreams that are dashed and hope that is extinguished. Listen to a few excerpts:


But the tigers come at night,

With their voices soft as thunder,

As they tear your hope apart,

And they turn your dream to shame…..


But there are dreams that cannot be

And there are storms we cannot weather…..


I had a dream my life would be

So different from the hell I’m living

So different now from what it seemed

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed…..

These words seem to be universal and timeless in describing the bitter fallout of sin’s curse.  This could very well have been Adam and Eve’s song as they were the first to taste of hope being torn apart and dreams being turned to shame. The unfolding of human history bears witness to this horror, and honestly every one of us can weigh-in on this reality.  We see it and hear it all around us:

*Like the Father who said to his son, “You are nothing but the product of a one night stand!”

*Where in places like Thailand, for the price of seafood platter, perverted men fly in from all over the world to have their way with children caught up in the horror of sex trafficking.

*Where loose ends, and irreconcilable relationships and unending bitterness passes from one generation to the next.

*Where “if only” seems to be the refrain of many living in the backwash of failure, grief and pain.

Sin is the great life destroyer. It separates us from God. It disrupts every human relationship. It is behind every broken marriage, every abusive home, every shattered friendship, every evil thought, every evil word, evil deed, every good deed undone, every good word unsaid can be attributed to the fact that we as a race are sinners by nature and by choice.

Into such a world, God has sent forth His Son, Jesus Christ.  This could be the greatest defense of the Christian faith, namely that God came here and breathed our air and became susceptible to the sorrows of this world.  Through His sinless life, brutal death and glorious resurrection, He is the true hope giver for all who turn from their sins and come to Him by faith.

The shortest verse in the English Bible is “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) He did so at the funeral of a friend named Lazarus. He wept not because he wondered where Lazarus had gone because momentarily He would raise Lazarus from the dead. I believe He wept because He saw the devastating effects of sin upon humanity. Because of sin, there is death.

In this same chapter of John 11, Jesus gives amazing hope as He says to Martha, the grieving sister of Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” (John 11:25)

Jesus Christ is the true hope giver.  His promises are sturdy, and His compassion is great. Immerse your life in the text of Scripture. Learn everything you can about Him. Bring your broken life and dreams to Him, for He is the only one who can rescue from the judgment to come and give to you a future and a hope.

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