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. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3~9
*Hightlights from the Community Sunrise Service. Easter morning 2017
Easter morning provides us a living hope amidst crippling despair.
I’ve been shocked and sadden by news lately. News of a driver (texting while driving) crashing into a church bus. News of terrorism in Syria. News of church bombings in Egypt on Palm Sunday. News of a school shooting in California. But my shock doesn’t stop at headline news. I’ve been shocked and sadden by news of the death of a church member. News of friends with sick children. News of friends with struggling marriages. Of course, there are also the things that spring up from my own heart and home.
Yet, Easter morning provides us a living hope amidst crippling despair.
Specifically, our passage this morning tells us that we are provided living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
You see Jesus died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead that first Easter morning. In doing so, he provided you and me victory over sin and death. That’s living hope no matter how shocked or saddened I may be.
Our passage this morning tells us that our eternal life is like an inheritance kept for you in Heaven ~ an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.
I was born in Ft. Knox Kentucky. This Army installation is best known as the site that protects the US gold reserve. The 42-acre depository is protected by granite walls, a 20 ton blast proof door, armed guards, video cameras, microphones, mine fields, electric fences, and Apache helicopters. The gold is protected.
For those with living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ ~ your eternal inheritance is protected. It will never perish, spoil, or fade. That’s living hope no matter how shocked or saddened I may be.
But that doesn’t mean your faith won’t be tested. Our passage informs us that trials prove the genuineness of our faith. When you are shocked and saddened don’t give in to the temptation to give up. Rather, focus on Jesus Christ and allow him to turn your crippling despair into living hope once again.
Easter morning provides us a living hope amidst crippling despair. Easter is not about a day or even a holiday. Easter is about transformed lives.
For those who have never been transformed by the grace of God:
- Confess your sins to God (He will forgive you)
- Pray to God daily (He will guide you)
- Read your Bible daily (He will speak to you)
- Connect to Christian community (He will encourage you)