One of the things “of first importance” for us is that Jesus “was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:4).” As Paul continues, he underscores why this is so important.
“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15:19)
If it’s just a fairy tale that after his crucifixion, death, and burial Jesus really came back to life bodily, then our “faith is in vain… futile.” But because it is no fairy tale, we have hope that reaches far beyond this life. In the last two lines of the apostles’ creed, we declare that we believe in “the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.”
The Heidelberg Catechism asks of each of these, “What comfort does this offer you?” How do these future hopes bring present peace? Here’s how it answers:
Q. What comfort does the resurrection of the body offer you?
A. Not only shall my soul after this life immediately be taken up to Christ, my Head, but also this my flesh, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul and made like Christ’s glorious body.
Q. What comfort do you receive from the article about the life everlasting?
A. Since I now already feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, I shall after this life possess perfect blessedness, such as no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived a blessedness in which to praise God forever.
Peter called this our “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3) because, though it is still future, it has the ability to reach back into our present day and refresh our fainting hearts, strengthen our weak hearts, and encourage our discouraged hearts.
Jackson Randall will be preaching this week and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare?
May God comfort us with our living hope this Sunday and exalt the risen Christ as the object of our love and devotion and worship.
See you on livestream, Grace! Come hungry.
SONG OF THE WEEK
Because He Lives by Matt Maher
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives every fear is gone
I know He holds my life, my future in His hands