In the movie “Star Wars” Luke Skywalker accidentally discovers Princess Leah’s secret message for help. The hologram hidden in R2D2 is to someone named Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“You’re our only hope,” she pleads. Luke is moved by her need—her utter helplessness—and is immediately ready to do whatever it takes to rescue her. (Of course it doesn’t hurt that she’s young and beautiful.)
If Princess Leah’s call for help was able to touch the heart of this young warrior, who didn’t even know who she was, imagine how God feels when we express our desperate need for Him!
This Christmas I ask myself, Am I desperate for a closer relationship with God? Am I aware I’m in extreme need of His help? Do I know I am utterly and completely lost without Him? Is Jesus my only hope?
The Jews put their hopes in the coming Messiah to rescue Israel from the tyranny of Rome. However, Jesus came to rescue all mankind from the tyranny of sin. Do we make the same mistake today - looking only for liberation from discomfort, sickness, financial ruin, worldly oppression, or the consequences of our own sinful choices?
Throughout history believers have declared Jesus is the only hope of mankind. We desperately need the eternal hope He offers, not just a temporary fix. He didn’t come looking the way people expected. He didn’t kill off their enemies the way they wanted. When the crowds who followed Jesus found out He wasn’t going to do things their way, many abandoned Him.
At this point Jesus asked His disciples if they were going to leave Him too. “Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:69). In other words, “You’re our only hope.”
What about you? Has God answered your prayers in a less-than-spectacular display of power that left you disappointed? Was His answer “No” when you wanted it to be “Yes?” Kind of like getting a baby when you expected a war hero?
Have you read the Bible looking for comfort and rescue, and found He’s also calling you to commitment, obedience, and self-denial? It can be hard to swallow.
But Peter had it right – where else can we go? Jesus refuses to cram His God-ness into a box of our making. Salvation is His plan and He will bring it about in the way He chooses. In His perfect way.
The question is, will we recognize Him? Will we see our real need is not for an earthly hero, but a Savior? He came to rescue us from the despair of sin, and prepare us for eternal life with Him. This world is only temporary.
What have you been seeking this Christmas? Is Jesus everything you’ve hoped for? Is there anyone else who can meet the deepest needs of your soul? If not, look for His entrance in the quiet, humble moments of the day. Your hope will rise as you recognize He is all you need.
Reprinted from The Four Days of Christmas, © 2015, Beth Vice