Hope. We use that word so much. I hope my team wins today. I hope it doesn’t rain. I hope that cop didn’t see me speeding. Martin Luther once said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope. No farmer would sow one grain of corn if he did not hope it would grow up and become seed; … no merchant or tradesman would see himself work if he did not hope to reap benefit thereby.” Hope is an integral part of life: looking ahead and imagining what might, what could be. The empty tomb on Easter defines the hope Christians have. And that hope defines our lives.
What is hope for a Christian? For so many people hope is just a want or desire. You can hope for good weather. You can hope for a pair of shoes. You can hope your children will be good. For so many people in the world hope and fact are polar opposites. Hope has no basis in reality and reality has no control over hope.
Yet when Christians speak of hope, that’s not what we mean. Hebrews chapter 11 gives us a little hint of what hope is for Christians: Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We see hope paired up here with another important concept for Christians: faith. And the way we approach both is remarkably similar: with sureness and certainty. For us, with God backing us up, faith and hope are no longer vague desires based on our own thoughts and feelings, but they become concrete fact based on God and his unfailing promises. So when Jesus promises: Because I live, you also will live. We have hope in that promise, and we rest secure in that promise. That’s why hope is so important for Christians, and that’s why the live he gives us is a life full of hope.
So live your life in hope. That’s the gift of the empty tomb. Live, work, worship, eat, pray, sleep, do everything with confidence and joy! Our Savior is risen! Never let worries or problems overwhelm your sure hope in Christ. Our sins are forgiven! Put your hopes, your fears, your dreams, your whole self on Christ. We, too, will rise from death as our Savior did! In Christ we have a living hope. In him we have a sure inheritance. So rejoice! And live in hope!
Pastor Tim Wahl