27. A LIVING HOPE

THE WORLD INTO which the gospel first came was characterized by frustration and hopelessness. The gospel brought hope and direction. It told the Jew that he could find security now-not in Law, which he had never kept quite perfectly, but in Jesus Christ who had kept it perfectly on behalf of all men. It told the Gentile that life did have meaning and purpose. It told him that the man God had appointed as Judge was now available as Savior. The gospel revolutionized that world.

We have sometimes forgotten where our hope lies. Jesus Christ is vastly superior to Moses in this regard: Moses brought a law; Jesus kept the law. And He gives us the benefits of His obedience.

Hope in Christ is secure because it is grounded in His accomplished work of redemption (Hebrews 6:18-20). It takes away the overwhelming grief of death (I Thessalonians 4:13,14). It is a driving force toward purity of life (I John 3:2,3). It vastly affects this life and present living, yet it transcends all that presently exists or can be imagined.

At one time even Jesus’ disciples thought their hope was dead. “This is the third day,” reported the two on their way to Emmaus; “we had hoped this was the one who should redeem Israel.” But Christ was alive again, and proceeded even then to open their eyes. “Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” exclaims Peter. “He has begotten us again to a living hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” (I Peter 1:3).

Our world is beset by the same hopelessness and despair found in the world of the apostles. The same gospel which brought hope to thousands can do the same today. The same ignorance and apathy still stand in the way. We Christians have a living hope. Let’s live like we believe that!