Apr 20, 2012 Words of Grace – Resurrection and Living Hope
Let’s not move too quickly to a new topic now that Easter Sunday is behind us. The content of many churches has changed in the past two weeks. The resurrection has been replaced by other themes important to our faith. But wait, when I read the Bible, it seems that all the themes of the Christian faith flow from the two-fold salvation event of the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus led to the founding of the church of Jesus. And the teaching of the church recorded in the New Testament shows us that the resurrection shapes how the church thinks and lives.
The Apostle Peter was a man profoundly impacted by the resurrection. He despaired because he denied Jesus. Jesus died before Peter had the opportunity to be reconciled to him. It was after the resurrection that Jesus showed Peter that he was still loved and that he still had a place in the ongoing work of God. Peter had a new and living hope.
Peter wrote a letter to Christians who were struggling with the hardships of being believers in this world. He told them that they have been born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). What is the living hope? It is hope in the living Christ and his salvation for us. It is hope born in the hearts of people made spiritually alive by God. It is hope that produces a new kind of thinking and living in the world. When God gives us the new birth through the resurrection of Jesus, living hope is born in our hearts.
This living hope resides in the community of Christ known as the church. When we gather together this Sunday as a local congregation we do so with living hope.