Today, I want to encourage you with some things Christ’s resurrection from the dead brings to us, according to the Bible. This is an edited version of part of a sermon I delivered.
Two Things Given to Us from the Resurrection
The Apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 1:3-5 wrote:
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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Peter praises God. Why? For giving us—including you and me—new birth.
Yes, new birth, a brand-new life. No longer the person we were, we are a new, living person.
Peter says that what this new person is given, through the resurrection of Christ, includes two things: (1) an inheritance and (2) living hope.
The Inheritance We Receive from the Resurrection
Peter tells about this inheritance. It’s not just any inheritance.
It can’t fade. You know how sometimes people inherit a car? Over time, the paint fades. The upholstery ages and tears. The engine stops. No such thing happens to our inheritance that comes from Christ’s resurrection.
God protects this inheritance in heaven until the coming of the salvation revealed in the “last time,” per First Peter. I don’t know if that means on becoming a Christian, right now, on death, on Christ’s return, or when, but I can see that it tells us have an inheritance.
And what is this inheritance God has for us? Peter tells us at least part of it is this: “you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Our salvation. We are inheriting — receiving, as a gift from God — salvation.
An inheritance is something unearned. We do not deserve it. I don’t. You don’t. No one does.
But God gives this amazing inheritance to us because we are his children. … Praise God.
The Living Hope We Receive from the Resurrection
Peter also tells us some about this “living hope” we receive now, something that Peter seems to indicate is different from the inheritance we receive.
This living hope — a hope we have right now, as we walk this Earth — comes from “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
That is, what we celebrate at Easter, for example, — Christ’s resurrection — gives us all something critically important: a hope right now.
Hope can be an odd word and concept. I hope a long lost relative leaves a billion dollars for me in his or her will. I hope the Charlotte Hornets will bring me on as point guard. I can hope those things will happen, but I don’t have any real reason to think those things will actually happen. Any hope I might have in those things is misplaced. I can’t have faith in such hope or any real confidence in it.
The hope Peter describes that comes with our lives as Christians is a confident hope for our salvation. We can have faith in that hope. We can trust in it. Why? Because of the resurrection of our savior, Jesus.
Because of the empty tomb.
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Sources / Notes
All scripture quotes from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
Image by Reijo Telaranta from Pixabay