Monday, April 13

Our Resurrection Hope

In mid-March, God provided our church with a focus for encouraging each other and the world during this pandemic. That focus is summed up in the words at the top of this page: Christ: our living hope.  

When, about 20 years after Jesus’ resurrection, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he confronted a false teaching held by some in that congregation. This false teaching: the body of Jesus Christ was not raised to life. This teaching reframed the historical narrative as a spiritual resurrection only.  Such a misunderstanding lead to another false idea: that believers would not experience a bodily resurrection. Here is what the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?   But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.   And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.   We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.   For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.   And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.   If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19.

How sad it would be if followers of Christ only had hope for a better life now. How disappointing if the best motto we had during this Covid-19 crisis was: “Christ: our hope that the situation will improve."  Certainly, as followers of Jesus Christ, we trust that God will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). We do hope that the situation will improve. But, ours is not a temporary or limited hope. Ours is a living, eternal hope! Because Christ rose from the dead, we have a hope that is alive. We have a hope which brings light to every situation.  We have a hope which is ours now and someday is ultimately realized when we, by the power of Christ’s resurrection, are raised from the dead. 

Prayer: Teach me Lord Jesus to live in hope. Thank you that through your resurrection from the dead, I see this life differently.  Please bring healing to those who are sick.  Please bless and protect healthcare workers. Please bring disconnected people to a relationship with you.  Please help me to bring living hope to others as you live in me. Amen.