This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every week, I join a few blogging friends to bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these devotionals help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.1 Peter 1:3-5, ESV
Tomorrow is the day when Christendom observes the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, the sinless sacrifice to atone for the sins of all humanity. Though called by many “Good Friday”, it is often a day of solemn reflection on the life, ministry, and death of Jesus.
The entire world is suffering from a deadly pandemic. Most people are sheltering in the homes only going out if absolutely necessary or if they are an essential worker. Thousands and thousands of brave men and women in healthcare are battling to save as many lives from this virus as they can. The death toll is climbing and heartbreaking. So many people, especially those in areas hard hit, are gripped with fear.
It may seem like there is very little “good” left to be found.
That Friday, so many years ago, in Jerusalem also seemed to be void of any goodness. The Scriptures tell us that when Jesus died upon the cross, “…there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.”
But His death, no matter how tragic and unjust, is not the end of the story.
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 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. Come, see the place where he lay.Matthew 28:1-6, ESV (emphasis added)
Jesus may have died on Friday and remained in the grave through the Sabbath, but this is not the end. There is hope. Let’s rewind a little bit to a familiar yet also sad story when Jesus’ good friend Lazarus died.
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:20-26, ESV (emphasis added)
Even before His death, Jesus spoke of His power over death and the grave. He proved it when He rose Lazarus. And He proved it again on that morning when the stone was rolled away from the borrowed tomb and, as the angel proclaimed, He was rose again to life.
The resurrection gives us hope
Why is Jesus’ resurrection so important to us? Because, as today’s scripture in 1 Peter 1 points out, His resurrection gives us hope.
Hope that there is something beyond death. Hope that there is more to life itself… a purpose and a plan when life seems listless and futile. Hope that the injustices of this world will be rectified. Hope that we can be redeemed from our selfishness, our faults, our mistakes, our sins. Hope that one day there will be no more death, pain, sorrow, suffering, and sadness.
1 Corinthians 15 explains it this way:
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 2Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.1 Corinthians 15:20-24, ESV
This is why a dreadfully sad and painful Friday long ago can be called “good”. This is why, even on our darkest days and in most painful moments, we can hold on to hope.
So this weekend as many throughout the world pause to celebrate Easter, take some time to read how Jesus saved the world by offering up His life. But don’t stop there. Read on and discover how His resurrection offers us a living hope – the promise of an inheritance greater than anything this broken world can give.
Share your hope
This hope makes every day, no matter how wonderful or painful, worth living. And the world, right now, needs hope. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus encourages us: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Share your hope with those around you. Be that ray of hope shining brightly in a sad, frightened world.
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
- Andi of Radiant Light
- Leslie of Words of Hope
- Claudia of By Claudia Moser
- Keneesha of Women Loving God’s Way
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