The living hope granted by Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. — 1 Peter 1: 3

Message

The hope founded upon Christ’s resurrection is a certainty for us and gives us security. Many people consider the Christian faith to be a kind of accident and life insurance: God is to be our helper in sickness, mis fortune, and need—and at the Last Judgement; Christ is to pay out a “premium” for those who have lived an honour – able life and who have done nothing wrong.

That the resurrection of Christ has unlocked so much more for mankind is something that Apostle Paul already expressed in all clarity: “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15: 21) . Again and again, the Holy Spirit also reminds us that we must not limit our faith to the resolution of our daily problems.

The Christian faith is founded upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is thus—if it is taken seriously—nothing less than the beginning of a new existence: we have been begotten “again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1: 3). Human beings mired in sin live without hope and do not have any prospect of entering into fellowship with God. The baptised who believe in Christ and profess Him have access to this new life, which is guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Promise and certainty

Jesus Christ did not have to die and resurrect from the dead in order to make everything right in our earthly lives, but rather in order to grant us a living hope in eternal life. Such a hope contains both promise and certainty.

The promise upon which our living hope is founded is that of the future life that will become a reality for us with the return of Christ (1 John 3: 2).

The certainty that is also a component of our hope is founded upon the rebirth. Jesus Christ has resurrected and returned to the Father as the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1: 18). So too, those who have been elected and reborn by God’s mercy will resurrect to eternal life on His day. The rebirth out of water and the Spirit has made us heirs (Romans 8: 14–17). God Himself vouches for the redemption of this inheritance.

Clinging to hope

The author of the letter to the Hebrews likewise emphasises the hope founded in the resurrection of Christ: its dependability is rooted in God’s very nature. It is like a sure and steadfast anchor, which enters the inner sanctuary behind the veil in which Christ prepares a place for His bride (Hebrews 6: 18–20).

Thus the hope of the Christian not only has a future perspective, but also a reference to the present. This hope clings to us and we cling to it. Thereby we already today have an invisible but firm connection to that place where the Risen One will soon take us unto Himself!

* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for Good Friday service held on Sunday, 19 April 2015 at Midrand Congregation

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