The English poet Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.”
But where does man turn when hope dries up?
The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment. A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”
As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept. “That man took away my hope,” he blurted out.
“I guess he did,” replied the director. “Maybe it’s time to find a new one.”
Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, “Is there a hope when hope is taken away? Is there hope when the situation is hopeless? That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible. It becomes a passion for the promise.” *
The Apostle Peter wrote these encouraging words to some “suffering saints,” some Christians who were being persecuted for their faith in Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4). He describes their hope as a living hope because Jesus rose from the dead.
The basic facts of the Gospel, the Good News, are: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our redemption with His own blood. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
He was buried in a tomb. With the permission of Pilate, the Roman governor, the chief priests and Pharisees made the tomb secure, sealing the stone in front of the tomb, and setting a guard (see Matthew 27:62-66).
But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, the stone was rolled away, and the tomb was found empty. By His resurrection, Christ won the victory over Satan, sin, and death.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead means that sin, suffering, and death do not have the final word. His resurrection guarantees us that we, too, will be raised one day (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-57).
That is a promise. It is a promise that provides hope beyond the grave. It is a living hope because Jesus is alive!
That living hope belongs to those who have embraced the Living Lord through their trusting obedience.
God has promised to save and raise to eternal life in heaven those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
Is there any hope? Because of Jesus, the answer is “Yes!”
Won’t you submit your life to Jesus so that you can share in that hope?
-- David A. Sargent
* Source: Our Daily Bread, December 19, 1996, quoted in Sermon Illustrations from www.bible.org