I don’t know about you, but I had a blast this past Easter weekend, celebrating the fact that we serve a risen Savior who gives us an enduring hope! We looked at 1 Corinthians 15 and saw the power and the hope that comes from the resurrection. In short we saw that; the resurrection of Jesus is the only source of true hope for humanity.
- Resurrected Hope Reminds us of Gospel Hope: v.1-11
On the heels of his rebuke to the church in chapter 13, Paul reminds the Corinthians of the hope that they have in the gospel! He’s helping them to see God’s affirming love for them in spite of their failures and shortcomings. Paul reminds them of the effect of the gospel, specifically that they stand in the gospel and are saved by and through the gospel. The same is true for us! What a great reminder that we can hold to the hope that we find in the gospel. If nothing else, hopefully this past Easter weekend served to remind you of the hope that you and I have in Christ!
- Resurrected Hope Holds to the Truth of the Resurrection: v.12-34
Moving from his affirmation of the gospel, Paul moves to addressing the resurrection. Specifically, he contrasts the hopelessness that comes in denying the resurrection with the hopefulness that’s found in the resurrection. In verses 12-19, the denial of the resurrection leaves a grim picture for any Christ-follower. In short, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then our preaching and faith is in vain, we are still in sin, and we’re wasting our lives. But praise not only for verses 20-28, but that these verses are true and actually happened. Jesus did in fact rise from the dead, and because of that, we have an enduring hope! You see, for non-believers, today is as good as it will ever be. But for believers, today is as bad as it will be. Consider, your best day on earth, will be dreadfully worse than your worst day in eternity. This is the hope that we hold to!
- Resurrected Hope Celebrates the Future Hope in the Resurrection: v.35-58
As Christians, our hope resides in the future. It doesn’t mean that there’s nothing of meaning or substance today. In fact, verse 58 makes clear that today carries great value and purpose. But what we’re living for is found in the future. While we see various benefits and blessings that come to us in the resurrection, we must never forget that Jesus Himself is the greatest benefit of all! Yes, resurrected bodies and victory over sin and death sounds glorious! But they pale in comparison to living in the presence of God. All of these are aspects of hope that we hold on to in the resurrection, but Jesus stands far above the rest!
As we begin to move away from Easter as far as the calendar is concerned, let me encourage you that the celebration that we make of Easter is fitting every week. No, I’m not suggesting that we have huge feasts and eat a ton of chocolate every week (though that is tempting), but instead that we allow the marvel, wonder, excitement and joy of the resurrection to transcend all of our days, not just a handful of them in the Spring time.
The enduring hope of the resurrection carries not only through our lives, but through the ordinary and mundane aspects of day to day life. Let’s allow it to do just that!