Hope Lives

Read: Matthew 27

Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. (Matthew 27:50, NLT)

Jesus died on Good Friday, but rose again on Easter Sunday, so that you and I can live with hope on Monday—and every other day of the week throughout life and for all eternity.  That is what Peter calls living hope:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (I Peter 1:3)

When you fully embrace this living hope, you will quit living like Jesus is still dead! That is our problem, I think: We embrace Good Friday and rejoice in Resurrection Sunday, but go back to work or school on Monday and live as if the Lord’s body is still in the tomb.

The story is told of Martin Luther, who once spent three days in a deep depression over something that had gone wrong.  On the third day his wife, Katie, came downstairs dressed in mourning clothes. Luther asked, “Who’s dead?” She replied, “God!” Luther was offended, “What do you mean, God is dead? God cannot die.” Kate replied, “Well, the way you’ve been acting I was sure He had!”

Peter calls to us today, to snap out of post-Easter funk, because Jesus lives! We have a living hope that really matters beyond Easter!”  I love how historian Jaroslav Pelikan said it, “If Christ is risen—nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen—nothing else matters.”

What difference does an Easter resurrection make on a back-to-work Monday?

First, Christ’s death and resurrection are the foundation of your faith.  The fact is, without the resurrection, your faith (and life) is meaningless.  I Corinthians 15:14 says, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”

Second, Christ’s death and resurrection are the basis of your hope.  I Corinthians 15:19-20 says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than anyone else in the world. But Christ has been raised to life! And this makes us certain that we will also be raised to life.” Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure.” Romans 5:5 say this “hope does not disappoint us!”

Third, Christ’s death and resurrection are the guarantee of your resurrection.  Jesus said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?” If you do—believe, that is—the cross and the empty tomb become God’s signature on the Divine contract with you assuring you of eternal life after you die.

Fourth, Christ’s death and resurrection are the fountainhead of God’s love for you. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Yes, God loves “the world”, according to that verse, but you are the “whoever” the Apostle John had in mind when he penned those famous words.

Do you want to radically change your Monday mornings from here on out? Embrace God’s eternal, inexhaustible love for you that was on display when Jesus forgave your sins by dying on the cross and rising from the tomb on the third day.

Begin to live Easter every day of the year…especially come Monday morning!

“Without the hope of eternal life, this life is not worth the effort of getting dressed in the morning.” ~Count Otto von Bismarck

What If God Took Over?

The fact remains, even though Jesus died, he rose again. The stone was moved—the tomb is still empty!  That is why your faith is a living hope!  So take Easter with you into Monday…and Tuesday…and…well, you get the idea.  When you live Easter every day of the week, you will find stones still get moved and tombs still get emptied when you make Christ’s death and resurrection the foundation of your faith.


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