1 Corinthians 15:1-11
There is hope. This is a message which is very relevant in today's world. We hear of death and destruction. We ask the question, "Is there hope?" This question impresses itself upon us as we take seriously the events of our day. "Is there hope?" As we consider this question, we may find that we have more questions than answers. It is so important that we ask our questions in the right way. Many people ask questions, but they never expect an answer. We must ask the right Person, the Person who has the Answer. We must bring our questions to God.
Many people do not bring their questions to God, because they do not believe that there is a God. They think that it is clever to disregard God. God's Word tells us that it is foolish to say that there is no God: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1). Many people believe that there is no hope, because they believe that there is no God. There are others who claim to believe in God, but it is perfectly clear that their "belief" in God doesn't make the slightest bit of difference to the way they live their lives.
What are we to make of all this? What are we to do with the questions which arise in our hearts and minds? Are we to follow the way of those who have made up their minds already, those who say that there is no answer, because they say, "There is no God"? Are we to join the ranks of those who pay lip-service to God, yet persist in pushing Him out to the edge of their lives where He becomes completely irrelevant? Should we not, rather, look to the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus has given a great promise to all who are asking questions: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Luke 11:9). In fact, we may go further than this. Jesus does not only give the answer. Jesus is the Answer. Christ is the Answer for the world today.
Critics of the Christian Faith will immediately say, "How can Christ be the answer for the world today? He lived such a long time ago. He must be out of date now." This kind of talk may sound impressive, but it leaves out one thing: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If there is any one fact of history, which convinces us that there is a God, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If there is any one fact of history, which convinces us that there is hope, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. People speak about the great events of world history, but there is no greater event than this - the mighty resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Why do we say, "There is hope"? - We say that there is hope because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Death could not hold our Saviour. He broke the power of death. This is the great declaration of the Christian Gospel. Is there hope? Yes. Jesus Christ is our Hope.
Have you ever picked up a book and looked at the last page to see how the story ends? I'm sure most of us have done this at some time. Curiousity gets the better of us. When we read the story told by the Gospels, seeing Jesus being persecuted by His enemies, isn't it great that we're able to look ahead to the end of the Story and see Jesus Christ, risen from the dead?
When we hear of wars and rumours of wars, when we hear of nations rising up against nations, isn't it great to be able to have this assurance that Jesus is Lord, the assurance that there will come a Day when every knee will bow before Jesus Christ and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures us that the victory belongs to Christ. The resurrection assures us that all who belong to Christ, will, through faith in Him, share in His victory.
With such a resurrection faith, we can truly say, "There is hope." This hope is not just a matter of being naturally optimistic - the eternal optimist. Real hope is hope in Christ, the risen Lord, the living Saviour, who is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Christian hope is not a matter of saying, "I hope so, but I don't really think so." Through Christ, we have a Hope , which is firm and secure, because it is based, not on our constantly changing emotions, but on Christ, whose love never changes.
There is hope, because there is a Saviour - Jesus Christ, our risen and living Lord. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have a resurrection faith, a faith which enables us to look at life with new eyes - the eyes of hope. We look back to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and what do we see? - Hope. We look forward to the coming resurrection, and we are able to sing, with great joy, "When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other side, and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, and the glory of His resurrection share, when His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there."
Here and now, we live in the power of His resurrection, not defeated by circumstances but victorious through Christ. With a Saviour such as Jesus Christ, surely we can say nothing other than this, "There is hope."