Hope Shapes Our Future Now And Beyond Our Death

Easter is a time of hope for Christians. We have a living hope in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on the third day. Jesus has risen from the tomb!

Any number of viewpoints produce hope. For example, there is a story by Neil S. Davies of a man who hoped that a lot could happen in the year before him. Here is the story. “A man sentenced to death obtained a reprieve by assuring the king he would teach his majesty’s horse to fly within the year–on the condition that if he failed, he would be put to death at the end of the year. ‘Within a year,’ the man explained later, ‘the king may die, I may die, or the horse may die. Furthermore, in a year, who knows? The horse may learn to fly.

There will always be some questions about the hopes of others. How would you define the word hope? For me, I understand hope in its archaic meaning of trust. I trust in the forgiveness of my sins, the resurrection of my (dead) body, and the life everlasting. Why? Because I trust that on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, and He said, “Because I live, you will live also.”

Scripture tells us that Thomas had difficulty believing that Jesus had risen from the dead and had appeared to the other disciples. Thomas had no hope whatsoever in what the other disciples told him about Jesus being alive from the dead. They told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord! But Thomas said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” (John 20:25)

A week later, Thomas was able to see Jesus with his own eyes, and Jesus said to him, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27)

Russ Ramsey is convincing in the importance of the resurrection and our need to believe it. He writes, “Jesus’s resurrection opened a door between the fallen, groaning world into which he was born and the renewal of all things. That door was a stone rolled back by the very finger of God from the mouth of a grave outside of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, present at creation, came in the flesh to mediate between God and man. He lived the perfect righteousness that all men have failed to live. He died as a lamb led to the slaughter, offering himself up as the perfect sacrifice to atone for the world’s sins, once and for all. He rose from the grave, defeating death itself. Bearing all authority in heaven and on earth, he is the appointed heir of all things. He rules over every corner of creation, putting every enemy under his feet while making alive by his grace through faith for those who were dead in their sins.”

Jesus’ resurrection promises death’s sting is gone because of the believer’s union with Christ in faith. Believers in Christ will rise just as Christ rose from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the oxygen of our faith and hope.

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