“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.”” Matthew 28:5-6
On Good Friday it had looked like all had ended in defeat. As the nails went into His hands and Jesus breathed His last it seemed like the end of the Kingdom. But as we have seen, what looked like defeat was actually victory in the upside down way of the Kingdom as Jesus’ death covered the dent of our sin and made a way for us to be restored to relationship with the Father. And death was not the end of the story.
As Kingdom citizens our hope comes from the fact that death is not the end. The grave could not hold Jesus down. On the third day He rose again victorious. The ultimate victory was won, sin’s curse was broken and the power of death was defeated. Because Jesus died we can know forgiveness of sins, and because He rose again we can have hope that we too will live forever with Him. Death will not be the end of our story.
The hope we gain from the resurrection is not wishful thinking hope, like hoping that your favourite sports team will win their next game. It is secure, confident, unshakeable hope in the God we know will come through for us. Throughout His time on earth Jesus had told the disciples He would die and be raised again. We can take confident hope in the fact that He is faithful to His word. We can have hope that death is not the end. We have hope, not just for this earthly life but for eternal Kingdom life. That gives us the courage to have an eternal mind-set, focused not just on this short life which will soon be gone, but rather making decisions that only make sense when we have the hope of eternal life in the Kingdom. The hope we gain from the resurrection changes everything. It changes our priorities. It changes what matters most to us. It changes how we spend our money and where we invest our time. Because when our hope is in the gift of everlasting life as Kingdom citizens forever praising our loving Father free from sin and guilt and death then our priority becomes sharing that hope with the hopeless around us.
Because Jesus died we have victory over sin. Because of the resurrection we have hope that we too will rise again. We have hope that death is not the end. We have hope that the abundant, life in all its fullness Kingdom life He gave us will not be extinguished by death but will continue forever. We do not have to fear anything our adversary the devil throws at us for nothing will cut us off from eternal Kingdom life with God our Father. No matter what circumstances we face we can take hope that soon these momentary afflictions will be gone as every tear gets wiped away and sin and death and sickness and sorrow are no more. We can have hope that nothing will separate us from the love of God, the Father who loved us so much He sent His only Son to die in our place. No tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword will ever be able to separate us from His love. That is the hope we find in the Kingdom because of the resurrection, and that is the hope that will sustain us through all situations we face in the now and not yet era of the Kingdom we find ourselves in presently as we await the glorious day when Jesus returns to usher in the fullness of the kingdom.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
- How does the resurrection change everything for you?
- What priorities does having hope in the everlasting Kingdom life give you?
- What confidence can you draw from Jesus’ resurrection and how does that help you in the difficulties of life?