Friday, April 25, 2014

A Word Of Hope

My hope is in an empty tomb... what is your's in?
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” ~Luke 24:5-7

I love Easter Sunday! It is a wondrous time of anticipation, renewal, and hope. Pastor’s message this past Sunday was a vivid reminder of the empty tomb and what that truth means for a lost and dying world. He shared with us three things we would do well to remember:
  • God’s judgment is avoidable.
  • Eternal life is available.
  • Your life is valuable.
The angel who spoke to the women at the tomb told them Jesus was not dead and in fact had risen. Then he reminded them of what Jesus had already told them before...

“Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” ~Luke 24:6b,7

Imagine the women’s surprise at the turn of events when they arrived to anoint what they thought would be the dead body of Jesus. They would have been sad and grieved beyond description, but at the angel’s reminder of what Jesus had told them their sorrow would have turned into overflowing joy! Just as Pastor shared with us the proofs of the resurrection last Sunday, the angel had given the women a “Word of Hope.”

Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. ~Psalm 119:49,50

In the Holy Bible one can find many promises God has made, and it would seem as if the psalm writer has found one which brings him great comfort. He has asked God to specifically remember His Word so it will be recognized or remembered later on, because it has brought him hope. When the psalmist is afflicted and his life is in turmoil, he thinks on what God has said and it brings him great comfort. The very Word of God revives him and ultimately brings him life! I too find comfort in what God has said...

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. ~Isaiah 44:6

When it seems the entire world is on a runaway train and things have spiraled out of my control, I find great comfort in the sovereignty of God. Even though Satan rules and manipulates events here on earth, he can only operate within the bounds God has set for him, and ultimately, all he does and attempts, works to the glory of our Heavenly Father! When you consider the evil we as humanity are responsible for, all the pain and suffering we impose on one another, you risk falling into despair, for the darkness is very great. Dear Christian friend take heart, for the light of God shines bright and whom shall we fear?

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1

There is great comfort in the empty tomb and knowing God as the psalmist does To know Jesus rose from the grave for your justification and that as a child of God your heavenly Father watches over you should bring peace and joy, even in troublesome times; but for those who have not received forgiveness of their sin, knowing God should produce a fear that goes to the center of their soul! If, after hearing the truth of God’s Word, one chooses sin over salvation there is no hope of eternal life. To know God without trusting in the shed blood of Christ and His resurrection will not bring comfort, it brings fear...

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. ~Hebrews 10:26,27
 
All who have trusted in the finished work of Jesus Christ and received Him as Lord and Savior, have that promise of eternal life! There is no power on this earth or anywhere else that can separate us from Him. The deceiver of this world himself cannot even remove us from the hand of God and he hates us for it. Though Satan comes against us with all the powers and evil he can muster, God Himself is our light and our salvation, He is our shield and strength, and He is our hope! The psalmist is right, there is comfort in God’s Word in which He has caused us to hope...

“He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words... ~Luke 24:6-8

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