Archive for April, 2014

The Victory of Hope

We can scarcely talk of hope without talking about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the source of all our hope.

Christians around the world celebrate two days without fail: the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas, and His resurrection from the dead at Easter. In a typical year, these two days represent the highest attendances at worship services. History records and people realize something significant – even world changing – happened at Easter!

The Reality of Jesus’ Resurrection

In the Spring 2014 Bible Studies for Life unit, sitting Southern Baptist Convention president, Fred Luter, writes:

“One of the many issues Paul addressed with the Corinthian church was a question about the reality of the resurrection. The entirety of the Christian faith rests upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul gave strong affirmation to the death and resurrection of Christ. Not only is Christ alive, but He is victorious and the Ruler of all things. Because Jesus is alive, His children will also experience resurrection and victory over death.”1

Jesus’ resurrection is recorded in all the gospels and many of the epistles. We do well to remember the message of the early church was not a message of “we have things figured out, so listen to us.” It was, “Jesus has risen from the dead.” The concept of being a “witness” was that the disciples had seen the risen Christ; they were eyewitnesses. This very idea was passed along by the Apostle John who wrote, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life–that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was revealed to us.”2

What made Jesus’ Resurrection Special?

The resurrection of Jesus is the singular event of history; there has never been anything else to compare it to. Jesus Himself raised people from the dead, as did Elijah in the Old Testament. Modern medicine has made it possible for stopped hearts to beat again, and people with no measurable brain activity have come back to life. How then, is Jesus different?

Simply, Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again. He ascended to heaven and currently occupies the throne at His Father’s right hand. He is the risen and exalted King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was raised in a different kind of body, a glorified body. Jesus’ resurrection was called the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”3 and is the promise of our own resurrection from the dead.

It is as we are reminded:

“When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?…But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:54, 55, 57, HCSB).

Yours for the Great Commission,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church
General Editor, Bible Studies for Life

1Bible Studies for Life, Let Hope In Session 7, by Fred Luter.
2– 1 John 1:1, 2, HCSB
3– 1 Corinthians 15:20, HCSB