Resurrecting Hope

The Church throughout history has been instilled with hope in the face of life’s trials because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is a reminder that the Christian lives day in and day out with power that can overcome any challenge. In our darkest days, it gives us light. In overwhelming discouragement, it gives us faith. In the midst of devastating loss, it gives us joy. In times of divisiveness, it gives us something that unifies us. The tomb is empty. Jesus is alive, and that gives us hope!

Week 1 – Easter Sunday – “Resurrection Hope”

The days following Jesus’ crucifixion must have been some of the darkest times for his followers. They had placed all of their hope in him, and now he was dead. They believed that he truly was the Messiah and that through his life, he would change the world. It was not until a woman named Mary went to visit the tomb that hope was restored. The tomb was empty and Jesus had risen! All Mary wanted to do was to hold onto her Saviour once she discovered the good news. However, Jesus was not done. He had to go to the Father in heaven and restore all that was broken by sin and make it right for good. Easter is the reminder that because Jesus is alive, we have hope.

Week 2 – “Do you love me?”

We can only imagine how Peter must have felt as the final days of Jesus’ life unfolded: devastated that his friend had been killed on a cross, disappointed that Judas had turned his back, heartbroken that Rome had seemingly won. But perhaps Peter was most saddened that he had denied Jesus three times when Jesus needed him most. We all know the pain of discouragement that comes by our own foolish choices, as well as the discouragement of things outside our control. The story of the resurrection shows that there is no disappointment that the resurrected Jesus cannot overcome.  Peter is given the chance to restore relationship with the Saviour with one simple question, “Do you love me?” Jesus asks us the same question as well. Resurrection hope comes from knowing that Jesus is faithful even when we are not. Jesus loves us back to wholeness. Do you love him?

Week 3 – “If you would have been here…”

Lazarus was one of Jesus’ friends. He fell sick and died before Jesus could arrive to restore him. The loss was devastating to Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. It all looked like one big mistake. If Jesus would have been there, Lazarus would not have died. Jesus entered into the pain with Mary and Martha and he wept. If we want to know how God responds to loss, look no further than Jesus’ tears in John 11. Though Lazarus had been lying in the tomb for days, Jesus performs a miracle and raises him from the dead. It is a foreshadowing of what would happen to Jesus, as well as what will happen for all who put their hope in him.

Week 4 – “Unity in him”

The final prayer that Jesus prays is not just for the disciples, it is for anyone who would believe in him one day. His prayer is for people like you and me. The essence of his request is that his followers would be one, as he and the Father are one. The heartbeat of Jesus’ prayer reveals that he came to rescue the world. Resurrection hope comes from knowing that in the midst of a divided world, we can trust that the love of Jesus knows no bounds.