If Jesus died over 2,000 years ago to save the world, then why do millions of people commemorate His accomplishment on a Sunday every spring? And why does this matter? Hasn’t the defeat of death and the battle for our souls already been won? If our salvation is secure then isn’t every trial, every joy, and every bit of progress just a wash?
In an interview with Relevant magazine, theologian N.T. Wright puts it like this, “World history turned its corner when Jesus died on the cross and then rose again three days later. Every generation has to go on asking itself the question, ‘how does that then play out in my world in my time?’” Yes, Jesus brings the promise of eternal life—that’s what’s so revolutionary about it. Easter celebrates the hope for life on this side of Heaven.
So, what is hope anyway? It’s certainly more than a fleeting can-do spirit or a front you put on to get through the day. It’s an authentic, honest-to-goodness choice. And if you take hold of it, you’ll get an entirely new perspective.
The Apostle Peter, in his letter to believers in Asia minor, names it a “living hope.” Whatever you’ve resigned as a failure, a loss, or an impasse stands not a chance against the living hope found in 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,” 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV).
The confidence hope instills in us comes from that triumph won long ago by Christ. But it’s also the hope that comes from a future that’s already been decided (v.3). It’s a hope so assured, so magnificent, that we can’t help reminding ourselves of its origin each year. The twist? That same hope makes all the difference in the tumultuous trials and even the painstakingly unremarkable moments that occur in life before Heaven (v.4). And that is how the hope that was real yesterday is just as real today.
This gift of hope comes from the God who is absolutely crazy about you. He died and rose from the grave so that you would have the choice to spend eternity with Him. Just as you have the choice to place your hope in Him.
The life He has to offer isn’t just a ticket into Heaven, it’s a ticket to a life overflowing with hope and possibilities before you even get to Heaven. It’s a life that can inspire radical love and heroic sacrifice. It’s a hope that turns death and despair into vitality and triumph. In the face of such profound hope, the only response is to inspire more hope.
The resurrection is not just a defeat of death, it’s a defeat of the seemingly irredeemable, and even the mundane. Hope can be the beginning of your miraculous victory, the beginning of your greatest adventure. The choice is yours.