A dear friend?
Fear is an uncomfortable companion. He keeps you up at night, calls when it’s inconvenient, and hangs around longer than is strictly necessary. Fear whispers incessant worries into our ears and nibbles away at our supplies of confidence. I guess many of us stuck at home, bombarded by the 24-hour news cycle of doom that is global pandemic reporting have become reacquainted with our dear friend, fear, in these last months.
Now, as we enter spring 2021, we are talking of lights at the ends of tunnels and socially distanced mini-breaks in July. Is that all there is to look forward to? When you read the details of road maps and try to picture the future according to government guidance hope looks like shops and pub gardens opening. Is this the normality for which we have sacrificed our freedom? I don’t in any way wish to diminish the simple pleasures of life denied to us in this year nor the joy of reconnecting in person with friends and family. I simply make the point that a secularised society appears to find it difficult to paint a picture of hope beyond entertainment and economics.
But this is Easter. And for the Christian, the glorious foundation for endless hope. 1 Corinthians 15 says:
I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you… what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Futility and fear are no longer masters
Christian hope is not a flimsy, candy-floss wishful thought, but a sure conviction built on historical events. The gospel Paul preached stands on the rock of events, not on the strength of my feelings or beliefs.
These are the facts: God’s power has exploded into history and creation. Jesus died for sin in our place so that through faith we can know his love and receive his guarantee of eternal life. All of this is his gift, at his expense. He rose from the dead, confirming his victory and unleashing into the world the power of a coming age in which he will govern fully and gloriously as King.
His death and resurrection are the evidence that this hope is not in vain – the new world has begun. Christ in you is the hope of glory. The evidence of what is not yet seen is the new life rising up daily in a believer’s soul. Because of the events of Good Friday and Easter, everything has changed. Yes, and hallelujah! everything.
In Christ, death and disease are not our final destiny, futility and fear are no longer masters of our future.
He has come and all things will be made new. It’s started. There is hope!
A couple of questions to think about as we approach Easter.
- What does Christian hope look like for you in a time of pandemic?
- What reasons would you give for the hope that is within you?