That Living Hope

Resurrection Hope

1 Peter 1:3-5 (New American Standard Bible, NASB)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Easter time is one of the most sacred yet joyous times believers celebrate. The Apostle Peter answers why: Because it’s all about that “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” In other words, without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there would be no hope—no hope for each believer, no hope for the nations, and no hope for any of God’s creation.

It’s not just any kind of hope. It’s a living hope. It is alive because Jesus is alive. He conquered death and was raised to immortality. Peter declared concerning Christ, “And God raised him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for him to be held in its power,” (Acts 2:24, NASB).

The living hope is not a mere wish or wild fantasy or utopian dream. The believer’s hope is an expectation based on reality, truth, and goodness. It’s based on proof not theory; hope not hype; sound doctrine not fanciful myths.

The fact of the matter is that the living hope of believers is to obtain an inheritance. But it’s not just any inheritance like one would receive today. In this life, an heir might be named to receive property, titles, debts, obligations, and/or rights as an inheritance when someone dies. But the inheritance that Peter is describing has to do with the believer’s eternal inheritance, especially in terms of eternal life. Notice that it is non-perishable, undefiled, and will not fade away. In other words, it is indestructible, pure and spotless, and will never get old and vanish into nothing.

Where is it now? It’s now being reserved for a future time. Other than our resurrected Lord, no one else has received it yet. God is keeping it on hold in heaven until he sends his Son back to earth. Jesus will bring that reward of life with him to give it to all believers on Resurrection Day—that is, when his salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time (Rev. 22:12).

In First Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul wrote,

21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,…

Those who are Christ’s are kept by the Power of God through faith. Faith followed by repentance and baptism are the steps that are taken to receive Jesus into one’s life. Acts 2:38 says that upon baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit is given. God’s Power is given to believers to grow in his grace and knowledge in preparation for the day Jesus returns to reward them with that eternal inheritance in God’s Kingdom on earth. This is the born-again experience to which Peter refers (See John 3:1-8; 1 Peter 1:3, 22-25). It’s for those who are regenerated through the power of Christ and his Word. Believers will not only receive eternal life but will inherit the entire earth (Matthew 5:5) which will be restored and made new (e.g., Acts 3:21, “the restoration of all things”). This is our hope.

But this is not just our hope. Jesus gives hope to the nations. Jesus will come to defeat the enemies who oppose him and rule the nations with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:8-9; Rev. 2:26-28; 19:14-16). He will reign in justice and establish peace among the nations (Isa. 2:2-4). Israel will be exalted among all the nations (Isa. 61:4-6; Zechariah 14:9, 16). If it weren’t for Jesus, there would be no hope for this world to survive.

He is also the hope of all of God’s creation. Right now, all of creation in the heavens and on the earth is under the Adamic curse. It is pictured as groaning in pain until the curse is removed (Romans 8:18-25). All that God has created relies on the fact that God will cleanse it and purify it until it all becomes as the Garden of Eden before it was cursed by man’s sin (Isaiah 11:1-10; 35:1-10; Zechariah 14:9-11; 2 |Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-5). After the 1,000-year reign of Christ, judgement will take place (Rev. 20:1-15). The wicked will be judged and sentenced to eternal death (Rev. 20:11-15; 21:6-8), the curse of sin will be removed (Rev. 22:3), and the last enemy, death, will be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:23-28). Then that hope will be fulfilled in its entirety and God’s Kingdom will have come as expected. If it weren’t for the resurrection of Jesus, all of creation would be without this hope and our faith would be in vain (1 Cor. 15:12-19).

It’s important that we remember Jesus’ resurrection. Our hope is renewed whenever we read the scriptures concerning the day God raised his Son to life to die no more. Here is a video dramatization of the burial to the resurrection of Christ narrated word-for-word from Matthew’s Gospel: http://youtu.be/lwPA5iFEreQ

This day of Easter is now commonly called Resurrection Sunday since it more aptly describes the day when God raised his beloved Son from the tomb. His resurrection from death to immortality is what gives believers that living hope. As you celebrate this Easter Sunday don’t forget what it’s all about, and the hope it brings to you!

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself…” (John 5:25-26).

The Apostle Peter was an eyewitness of our risen Lord (1 Peter 5:1-4; 2 Pet. 1:16). As we imagine the whole scene from Peter’s perspective, here’s Don Francisco singing, “He’s Alive!”  https://youtu.be/tJIDS-ge8V8

Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!
And Good News to YOU!
Pastor Michael

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