4/7/2021 10:50:25 AM
Certainty for Uncertain Times, part 3
In 1 Corinthians 15:19, the apostle Paul says: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (v. 19). Yes, we have hope in this life because Jesus is alive. But, if that were the only hope we had, it wouldn’t matter when we leave this life.
Paul writes, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Well, there it is—the greatest promise you could possibly hear. If you sat down and were promised that COVID-19 would disappear by the end of the week, that would be great. If you were promised that you would wake up tomorrow and be given your dream job, that would be great. If you were promised a winning lottery ticket that gave you a guaranteed income for the rest of your life, that would be great. But none of these promises can compare to what the apostle Paul just said.
Read again, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” In other words, Jesus did rise from the dead and he is just the first one who will do so. Because he won forgiveness of sins and conquered death, everyone who follows him will also be raised from the dead one day.
Talk about hope! It essentially means that this life cannot really hurt you. It can cause you pain and disappointment and frustration, sure. Yet knowing that this life is only temporary but the next life will be eternal puts things in perspective. Doesn’t it? And knowing that this life may have pain but that the next life will be painless is priceless. And knowing that this life may be filled with tears but that the next life will be tear-free dries those tears a bit. Doesn’t it?
“Sounds too good to be true.” I agree. It does. Eternal life? In a perfect paradise? And given to me as a free gift earned by Jesus? Is this just pie in the sky thinking?
No. No, it is not. Unlike the kind of hope this world offers, Easter offers sure and certain hope. Because Jesus did rise from the dead. Because he is alive and well able to keep his promises. Because he promises eternal life to all of his people.
Uncertainty is the worst. Whether it is uncertainty about your health or your wealth, or a virus or a vaccine, or your job or your relationships, uncertainty stinks.
In this remarkably uncertain time, aren’t you glad you don’t need to rely on wishes and dreams? You can rely on the sure and certain promises of God. You can rely on a Savior who is alive and well. He is your hope here…and hereafter.