Easter Gives Hope

By Dudley Hall Published on April 4, 2015

DUDLEY HALL — We live in that special time between the Resurrection of Jesus and the final resurrection of our own bodies. Some have unfortunately focused on the individual benefit of going to heaven. Though that is a great comfort for believers, it is not all that Easter is about. Actually, the focus of the New Testament is the fact that Jesus’ resurrection was the beginning of a new creation. The hopes of Israel were fulfilled in Jesus: the new Noah, the ultimate prophet and the final king.

The last days turned into the first days. The future broke into the present. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave was given to the new people of God. The responses of the early Christians were joyful celebration and confident proclamation. They were fearless in their willingness to engage their problematic culture. They weren’t obsessed with getting out of difficult situations nearly as much as they were committed to being God’s agents of change.

They somehow knew that, just as Adam did in the first garden, they were to partner with God in fulfilling the original mandate to subdue the earth. Now they had the power to destroy all enemies. They had seen this power in Jesus. Now they shared his life. They were conquered by a kind of love they had never seen before Jesus came. This love compelled them to live for the glory of Another and to spend their lives loving as he loves.

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we do have a hopeful future. Death cannot defeat the love of God. Since Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, we who are in him are sure of our future. But until then we have the great hope of fulfilling the purpose of God on earth. He has always been about blessing his creation. He didn’t have to create the world. No one held a gun to his head demanding a creation. He did it out of love.

He didn’t have to give mankind the dignity of choice, which allowed Adam and Eve to rebel. He wanted to bless the crown of his creation. After the fateful choice, He didn’t have to forgive. He didn’t have to choose Abraham and make promises to him. He didn’t have to bring Abraham’s descendents out of bondage and make them his instrument of redemption. He didn’t have to bring Israel out of Babylonian captivity. He didn’t have to send his Son to be the fulfillment of all promises made to mankind. He is about blessing. Those who share his life want to bless as well.

As we look around at multiple problems, we could throw up our hands and surrender. We could just be concerned about our own survival. But not if we share the life of love that God gives. We are stewards of a power greater than all the armies of the world. We have access to a wisdom that worldly powers don’t even know exists. This is our day to shine as lights in a dark place.

We represent a kingdom that did not originate in this world and does not depend upon this world for its sustainability. But it does affect this world through people of hope. Every time we express the love of God through word or deed, we displace the darkness that shrouds people in confusion and deception. We would be criminal to keep such transforming power from a world in great need. We can make it Easter morning every day for someone. We can help them start over with hope.

While we wait confidently for the last resurrection, let’s embrace the embarrassingly rich benefits of the one we have already experienced through faith in the resurrected One.

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