The Hope Found in an Empty Tomb
“It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!” —Tony Campolo
I love Peter. Not only is he my namesake, but I can appreciate the way he was prone to live on the extremes: he was bold and boisterous when he was with Christ, but when he was separated from Christ, Peter was a pansy. He caved under the pressure, even cowering to the questions of little girls, denying that he had ever even known Jesus at all. (See Mark 66-72).
We might look at the cross today as symbolic of some sort of victory, but it was devastating in the moment. The significance of Christ's death was the shedding of innocent blood—the perfect and final sacrifice for human sin. But what is the significance for us if He was raised? I can’t answer that any better than Peter:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. —1 Peter 1:3-7
What a contrast! Yes, Jesus had to die and we had to be crucified with Him to get to this point. But what a difference the resurrection made to Peter and what an astounding difference it makes to us. In the mercy of the Father, through the resurrection of Jesus, God has given us two crucial things: new birth and a living hope.
Where would we be without either of those?!
Jesus, touch me with the Truth today. Quiet my heart that I may ponder what You did on the cross. Ignite my heart that I may celebrate what You did through the resurrection. Amen.
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