‘There is always hope’

I’ve almost lost count of the number of times I’ve seen this phrase recently. I’ve seen it posted a couple of times on people’s facebooks and twitters and then I was at church the other week and guess what the theme of the sermon was?!  (and it was fab, which is why I’d quite like to steal/borrow some of it here! But if you fancy a listen, check out htb.org)

We were looking at a passage in 1 Corinthians 15 which talks about the resurrection and Jesus appearing to different people at this time. For people at the time, this was incredible- Jesus hadn’t just risen from the dead, He’d appeared to real, living people who could talk about it. And the truth of the resurrection that we can now read about is at the heart of the Christian faith and can change how we live our lives!

‘Christ died for our sins… he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.’
1 Cor. 15: 4-8 NIV
(but the whole chapter is definitely worth a read!)

Most excitingly, because of the resurrection, because of the incredible truth it holds, life doesn’t have to be frantic… but how?! We live in a society where people are always busy with one thing or another… we run around trying to cram as much into our days as we can (and I am absolutely someone that does this!) But, we don’t need to be under this pressure, this life isn’t all we’ve got. (Sorry, that expression YOLO doesn’t quite hold true…) The resurrection changes this; there is a life to come. Obviously that doesn’t mean sit around and do nothing for the rest of your life but this life will pass and we can’t hang onto it. The teaching of Jesus, especially when looked at in light of this, makes great sense… put others before yourself, do nothing out of selfish ambition (Check out Phil. 2:4) because this isn’t all we’ve got!

It’s also really key to remember that, no this life isn’t all we’ve got, but we’re not here without purpose. That phrase ‘Jesus is risen’ that you’ve probably heard a whole load of times over the Easter break changes everything. We can hope in the resurrection. And live with that hope in us. We don’t have to be surrounded by a fear of death but rather chose to remember that death has lost it sting and cannot take a hold on us.

So how does this change our everyday lives? Firstly I think it means we can rest in the fact that we have a hope as sure as this. More than that, let’s rejoice in this hope, let’s thank God for the gift He’s given us of hope and eternal life. And let’s live with a hope in eternity… I mentioned earlier how Jesus’ teachings look in light of the resurrection so let’s look at them a fresh again and live them out in a life of hope.

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