Week 11 Devo – TUESDAY

An Enduring Hope

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble. —Proverbs 4:18–19

At that time, you were without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope, and without God in the world. —Ephesians 2:12

The power that united the apostles, launched the first church, and invaded the Roman Empire was the certain knowledge and belief that Jesus had physically risen from the dead: “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all” (Acts 4:33, NIV, emphasis added).

Paul proclaimed that “[Jesus] was declared the Son of God with power … by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4, NASB, emphasis added). Paul’s personal testimony and message explained that Jesus demonstrated that He is completely unique through the Resurrection. Jesus Christ has the power to lay down His life and take it up again (John 10:18).

Without the Resurrection, there would be no Good News, and the New Testament would not make sense. It’s the foundation of our hope because it is the foundation of our faith.

How central is teaching on the Resurrection in the Church today:

[Scale of 1 to 5 (from “Afterthought” to “Absolute”; center the scale)]

Why did you choose this rating, and what can the Church do to improve it?

As followers of Jesus, we live by faith in the tension between two resurrections: Jesus’ Resurrection and ours. The bodily Resurrection of Jesus guarantees our future bodily resurrection. This is why our hope is said to be both objective or undeniable (like the kind of hope we discussed in yesterday’s devotional) and subjective or based on individual interpretations of the believer. Just as “faith” can be about what we believe or what we believe in, “hope” can be about looking forward to good things or the good things themselves.

The hope we have because of the Resurrection of Jesus is an energizing hope that causes us to endure. Resurrection hope is also subjective in that while being led by the Holy Spirit, all believers share an attitude of expectancy of present blessings from God in this life and the next.

There is no hope outside of Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us of this in Ephesians 2:12, saying we were “without hope and without God in the world.” Since the Christian life is Resurrection-centric, followers of Jesus are called to share this truth to bring hope to a hopeless world. Bringing hope alleviates suffering and speaks uniquely to this world’s suffering, and it endures because it extends beyond this world.

How does believing in the Resurrection bring comfort to people who are going through tough times?

Record the way you would honestly respond to Jesus, using one of the following prompts:

  • Yes, Lord, I believe You are the Resurrection and the Life and that I will live because …
  • I am still struggling with the Resurrection because …