Lifelines March 10, 2019

The empty tomb of Jesus validates everything that Christians stand for.  There is a vast array of religious beliefs in our world.  Islam is a system that is on the move worldwide.  Muhammed’s faith is aggressive and spreading.  He died and is still in the tomb.  No resurrection means no hope beyond this world.  He is simply one example.  Movements come and go, but only one will remain standing beyond the grave.  Our trust is in that one.

“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…(1 Peter 1:3).”  Peter knew first hand about disappointment.  He was totally confident that he could stand up to the stiffest challenge.  He couldn’t.  He vowed that he would never deny the Lord.  He did.  Any self-confidence had crumbled long before he wrote these words.  His associates?  They were no more dependable than he was.  He had to look beyond himself for hope. 

God is almighty, and it is to Him that we shift our attention.  He towers over everything this creation can throw at us, and that is plenty.  Even death suffered a death blow when face-to-face with the Lord (Hebrews 2:14).  Combine His capacity to raise the dead with His incomprehensible mercy and it is an offer of hope that is out of this world.  It is alive, and always will be.  The tomb of hopelessness is empty. 

He has brought us into a new realm of existence.  “Born again.”  He caused that.  He has made Christians brand new.  We stumbled around in sin, not knowing where we were or where we were going.  We joined the prodigal son among the living dead (Luke 15:32).  We had become pawns in the hands of influences without and evil desires within, both of which were tools under the devil’s control. We were corpse with a heartbeat (Ephesians 2:1-3), until God stepped in and emptied that tomb, too (Ephesians 2:4-7). 

Vision becomes blurry in the rigors of day-to-day existence.  Up early, rushing for work or school, a full day’s hustle, bills to pay, chores at home, collapse into bed; who has time in an overflowing schedule to contemplate hope? So, it easily drifts into the remote recesses of our minds.  Surely, it is another satanic ploy leading to discouragement and despair.  It was high on Paul’s prayer list (Ephesians 1:18).  It must be important.

The word of God has given us a great formula for the maintenance of hope: information and persistence (Romans 15:4).  History teaches us of the greatness of the Lord who delivers on his promises, even when there seems to be no possible way.  Never give up.  He is a God of hope (Romans 15:13).