“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
As Easter approaches, we’re focusing on the meaning of these holy days and endeavoring to see what Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished and reveals for His followers.
Though it can be hard to grasp goodness through tragedy, Christ’s death signified fulfillment of prophecy. His resurrection continued that completion, and in doing so, solidifies our faith and our hope in what is to come.
Fulfillment of Prophecy
The Old Testament prophets proclaimed Christ’s future death and resurrection. And they knew the power of such an act. (I feel blessed to have hindsight now, along with commentaries, bible dictionaries, and scholars much smarter than I am to point these truths out!) Moses prophesied of Christ’s coming (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). John writes in his gospel of Christ’s death fulfilling some of the Old Testament prophecies of these events (John 19:35-37).
Christ prophesies His own death and resurrection (Mark 8:31, Mark 9:30-32, Mark 10:33-34). His disciples didn’t understand why the Christ had to die and what that resurrection meant. When the resurrection did occur, some of the believers doubted others’ witnesses of the resurrected Christ (Mark 16:14), but once they remembered His words (Luke 24:8) and understood, their faith soared with the hope only He could give.
For the first century Christ followers, Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection restored and invigorated their hope. This major fulfillment of prophecy proved even more that we have a God we can trust to make true His promises (Hebrews 6:16-20). As Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:14-17, if Christ did not rise from the dead, our gospel, our good news, our faith is in vain. But if the resurrection is true (as Christians know it to be), prophecy is fulfilled, our God is shown trustworthy yet again, and our faith proved true.
God sent His own Son to die for all humans’ sins – past, present, and future – so that we can live in Him. He didn’t just say He promised us life, He acted, He did. Christ’s resurrection (which could only occur after His physical death) shouted, See? I am the Truth and the Life. You can trust and believe and love because I love you.
What We Do With Hope
This gift of hope, this certain expectation of the promises of God, is to be worn as a saving helmet (1 Thessalonians 5:8), a tool essential in fighting the current battle against evil.
Because we receive this hope through faith by grace, we can choose to repent, return and renew to Him (Acts 3:18-20). With this hope, we receive and share His everlasting love.
“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” – 2 Timothy 1:9b-10 (NIV)
How does Christ’s death and resurrection shower you with hope of what is to come in Him?