In doing a word search of “hope” in the New Testament you’ll find that in the “Red Letters” (which simply means Jesus’ spoken Word in His earthly ministry), He only uses the word hope one time and it is in John 5:45.
John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.
The context in which He uses the word hope is to the Jews after they sought to persecute Him for healing on the Sabbath, and then their anger escalated because He referred to God as His Father, “making himself equal with God.”
Jesus told them many things, but one thing I’d like to point out here is that Jesus told the Jews, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life.”
The Jews, like everyone, have a hope. Many, if not all or most, are convinced their understanding of eternal life, or life after death, is correct. If they do not give it much thought, or they give it much thought, but conclude that, “no one can really know for sure”, either position is putting their hope in the idea that “everything will just work out”. Some believe we all simply become dirt and cease to exist, that is their hope.
The Jews were putting their hope in Moses, but Jesus sets them straight on two major fronts:
1) The Scriptures, including the writings of Moses, “bear witness about Jesus”. Jesus basically said, “you say I make Myself equal with God, well, you are right because I am God. You put your hope in Moses, but you do not understand who he wrote about, otherwise you would come to Me that you may have the eternal life you seek.”
2) The very one the Jews have set their hope, Moses, is the one that will accuse them on Judgment Day. Talk about the ultimate paradigm shift, a person putting their hope for eternal life in the same person that will actually accuse them, resulting in eternal death instead of the eternal life they seek
How does Moses accuse? By the Ten Commandments he was given by God. If you broke a single one, you are considered a law-breaker, and all law-breakers will be condemned.
Where is your hope? Is it in, “I’m a pretty good person, I think I will be OK”? Is it in, “nothing happens when you die, you just turn to worm food”? Is your hope in one of the many false religions of the world that have you performing rituals and good works to earn God’s favor?
The hope that saves is hope in Jesus Christ; it is in coming to the understanding that there is nothing you can do to earn or deserve eternal life, and trusting in Jesus’ shed Blood to cleanse you of the lawlessness that would otherwise condemn you when you die – put your hope in Jesus today, we are not guaranteed tomorrow.