Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Hope Reaching Beyond
1Cor. 15:19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
The early Christians faced many trials for being followers of Jesus Christ. They were persecuted, often losing their jobs or positions. Many were tortured and martyred. The loss of livelihood meant there was no status to be gained in society. Rather, this was a life that may have been fraught with suffering and sacrifice. Therefore the hope in the resurrection took the people to a far greater understanding than simply this life. Jesus broke down the barriers between life and death and opened the passageway to life eternal. Paul encouraged the people to not lose hope because of the realities of this life, but to live into the resurrection and eternal life. It was the resurrection that opened up eternal possibilities for all of humanity and provided opportunity for hope to reach beyond the current circumstances.
Having an eternal perspective begins to transform everything that we do in our lives. At the same time, when our vision is limited to that which we can only see right now, we are in trouble. This statement was an acknowledgement of the difficulties that we face in this life. If we are simply hoping in Jesus because we believe that he will bring us health and prosperity, we have the message of the cross and resurrection wrong. If we are to follow Jesus then we should not expect an easy life. Jesus walked through many dark and difficult days and suffered to bring us peace. He became the first fruit of those who would fall asleep and then reawaken. It is his resurrection that brings us great hope for it is simply the doorway into life eternal which is much more than we can ever begin to imagine.
Hoping in Jesus reaches way beyond our current circumstances. We are invited into a new life that will never end when we are united with the resurrected Lord. This is the hope in which we find great peace. Our current circumstances may not be resolved before we fall asleep in Christ but this is not our hope. If this were our only hope, Paul suggests we ought to be pitied. We are lifted to a place where we discover hope in that which is unseen. Hope reaches beyond our current problems because the resurrection leads us to another dimension. My hope is in Jesus, and not just for this life, but far beyond.
Lord, my hope is in you today and forever. Amen.