Reflections for Holy Week: Christ, Our Only Hope
TUESDAY | Psalm 71:1–14, I Corinthians 1:18–31
By Malcolm A. Reid, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
There’s an old hymn I’ve not sung or even thought of for a long time. If my memory serves, two lines go like this: “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” The passion of our Lord is crystal clear; there could be no salvation for us apart from suffering, no hope for us apart from painful death.
But it’s the hymn writer’s use of the two words “nothing less” that are so arresting. Is he declaring that there is no hope for our candlewick lives except Jesus the Messiah? Just him—nothing and nobody else? The Psalmist and St. Paul thought so. In the Scripture passages of this day the first says, “For you are my hope, O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth” (Psalm 71:5). The second says that his Jewish brothers’ hope is founded on miracles and the great Greeks’ hope is founded on mind generated wisdom. But his hope is founded on “Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30).
To suffer much is often to hope for little. Our sufferings are so self-enclosing. Faith requires courage. Courage to trust in Christ alone, for he is our only hope in this life and the next.
“Reflections for Holy Week”—daily devotionals written by Gordon College faculty and compiled by the Center for Faith and Inquiry (CFI)—was first published in the spring 2018 issue of STILLPOINT magazine. CFI is dedicated to forming thoughtful Christians for global engagement by carrying on valued traditions and innovating new ones—such as the Distinguished Visiting Scholars program, Jeffersonian dinners, the Gordon College Symposium and a variety of publications.