JESUS IS OUR HOPE FOR ETERNITY
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:16 —
Having proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah, the faith of His loyal apostles faltered in time of crisis. Their Teacher… their Lord… the One they had followed step by step on His earthly ministry… was gone… killed at the hands of those who were against Him. These dedicated followers were devastated. In fear, nearly all of them scattered, abandoning Jesus in His darkest hour.
“Everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him, insult Him and spit on Him; they will flog Him and kill Him. On the third day He will rise again.” – Luke 18:31-33
The apostles should not have been surprised at this dire turn of events. Jesus several times shared with them what was to come… His rejection, His death and His resurrection. He spoke clearly these predictions in hopes that, when fulfilled, the apostles would believe (John 14:29).
The devoted women who followed Jesus arrived at the cave where their Lord had been buried. The stone was rolled away! Tentatively they entered. Two angels, “gleaming like lightning”, spoke words of hope to dispel their fear…
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered His words.” – Luke 24:5-8
Are we looking for Jesus among the dead? Do we question whether He is truly alive? Or do we believe the truth of His resurrection and His presence with us now?
“I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!” – Revelation 1:17-18
Jesus is risen. He is alive, sovereignly ruling over His church and His kingdom. He is not a story or a legend. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. All who believe in Him will live (John 11:25). Because He defeated death, He is our promise of eternity. In Him, we too will conquer death and live forever in His holy presence.
When the risen Lord appeared to the apostles, they were filled with joy. All that He had promised them had come true. The faith of these disciples was renewed. They proceeded to risk their lives for the gospel… proclaiming the truth and the hope of the resurrected Christ.
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
The kingdom of heaven entered earth’s history in Jesus Christ as fully God and fully Man. He proved that He is who He said He is – the promised Messiah. He fulfilled all that He came to earth to do. His life became the ransom paid for the redemption of all mankind. He now sits in all His glory at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, God’s children.
Christianity is the only religion where a God came to earth as a human, dying for the people He loved and rising again in awesome power and glory. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key belief that unites and gives hope to all Christians everywhere.
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities… and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” – Isaiah 53:5-6
Jesus is our Living Lord who fulfilled every prophecy. He is the thread of hope that runs through the Old Testament… from Genesis to Malachi. The prophets spoke of a future Messiah who would suffer for the sins of mankind. His suffering was His path to glory. In God’s perfect timing, the prophesied Christ brought salvation to all.
“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life.” – 1 John 11-12
Christ is risen! The power of the resurrection is available to all believers to live for Jesus in an evil world. His omnipotent power will one day resurrect us to eternal life. As we walk with Him in this world, we have hope for the future. Let us live in the truth of the resurrection… in Jesus Christ our Living Lord.