Surely no apostle felt the death of Jesus more agonizingly than Peter. He had boasted that he would not leave him or forsake him, that he would stay true and fight for him even unto death. He meant well, but he failed miserably. When the moment came, a young girl's question rattled him. Peter’s bravado melted more quickly than the snow did in our one week of summer (last week!) and he denied his Lord.
Hope was gone, shame and disgrace were ever-present. No wonder that the last view we have of Peter before Easter is his going out into the dark of the night, weeping bitterly.
You know how he felt. You may feel that right now: hopes crushed, dreams unfulfilled, no way out or through. You meant well, truly you mean well, but your reality has fallen far short of any dreams you might have had.
Easter, specifically the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, meets damaged hearts and smashes disappointment with unstoppable power. Thanks to God’s “great mercy,” we have “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
In Christ you have a living hope. This hope isn’t just some hyped up, imaginary illusion or false optimism. It is real. It is forever. And, it is yours.
You, dear Christian, have a special connection to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. You did not establish this link. Your loving heavenly Father did this for you. “By his great mercy he gave us a new birth…” You and I were born into this world spiritually dead, without God and without hope, the book of Ephesians says. There’s nothing inside of you or me that could establish a link between us and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Then the Lord created life in you when you were born again. Later in this chapter Peter writes that we were born again not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God. The Holy Spirit takes the truths of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead and plants them in you to create saving faith.
- Living hope means you have a reason to live.
- Living hope means you will never die; heaven is just a mere breath away.
- Living hope means there is a God whose all-consuming concern is your well-being.
- Living hope means this God is always with you and will never leave you or forsake you.
- Living hope means we express our love to our dear friends, the Wietings, and pray for God’s richest blessings as they move on to the next chapter in their life of service to the Savior.
- Living hope means that the Savior who commands that we feed his precious lambs has Trinity Lutheran School’s next steps all planned out and certain.
- Living hope means that – as individual children of God and as a congregation of believers – we can live each day with confidence, peace and joy; Our Lord holds us in the palm of his hand!
- Living hope means Christ is greater than cancer, fear, doubt, disease, sorrow, trouble, weakness, and death.
Such a comforting word from Peter by way of the Holy Spirit! May it resonate with you today! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
In Christ Jesus,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand