We have a living hope - 4 March 2019

Neville Turley

“Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope...” 1 Peter 1:3 (GNT)

Our faith can take a knock when we are going through a rough patch and our hopes are crushed. Peter who had walked closely with our Lord Jesus Christ is an example of that. 

Peter loved Jesus. He was the first disciple to recognise and proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. 

Peter completely misunderstood the nature of Jesus mission. When Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem where he would suffer badly and be put to death before being raised to life after three days, Peter rebuked him.

Peter was loyal to Jesus. Even when Jesus was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest, Luke records that “Peter followed at a distance” (Luke 23:54)

When Jesus died, hope died for Peter too. All his dreams of Jesus establishing a kingdom on earth crumbled. The fact that Jesus said he would be raised to life after three days was dispelled in the light of reality. Jesus lifeless body had been taken from the cross and buried in a sepulchre belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. 

Then on the third day, the women who went to the tomb bearing spices, reported to the disciples that they had found the tomb empty. Furthermore, they had been confronted by two angels who told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead.  Peter together with the other disciples did not immediately believe the woman but nevertheless rushed to the tomb with John. It must have given them much food for thought and perhaps glimmers of hope. Our Lord’s many subsequent appearances to his followers after his resurrection finally convinced them that he had risen indeed.

Peter and his fellow disciples realised that the Lord had conquered death and was alive. He truly was the Messiah and those who put their trust in him would live with him in heaven forever. That hope motivated them to fearlessly proclaim the Gospel to the point of martyrdom and exile. May that hope be a source of inspiration and motivation for us too.

Prayer:  May the Holy Spirit guide us to live godly lives as we wait for the blessed day when the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ will appear and we will dwell with him forever.  Amen

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