The great question of the Resurrection is not whether it really happened. The great question of the Resurrection is: Now what?
The Resurrection has brought something new for us, and this new thing is called a living hope. We now have, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our living hope.
1. Hope is about the future.
Paul tells us what he means by “hope” right in the middle of Chapter 8, in his letter to the Romans.
Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Hope has to do with the future. It means to have a confident expectation in what is to come. It’s a resolve, a feeling, a conviction we have about something we’ve not yet seen but believe that we will see. We cannot live without hope.
2. Hope is received, not invented.
Scriptures tell us that hope is not something that we can just make up, it has to do with who we are. God in his mercy comes to us with the good news of Jesus. We hear the truth that Jesus died for us — that he took our sins upon himself, that he bore the wrath we deserve, that he gives us his righteousness. We have hope, because God has a future for us, because we are his heirs, because we are his children, because we have received his adoption.
3. Hope puts us in contradiction to the world.
This world is turbulent and full of chaos. Suffering is the reality here. Darkness is the reality here. We know how different our future is from what the world is now and this means we cannot live in harmony with this world. Hope forbids harmony with a broken world. If we know our future in Christ, if we know what God has promised, then we can’t be okay with the darkness of this world now.
4. Hope requires us to need help.
We can’t live without hope, and that means we can’t live without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the minister of hope, and we need him. The Holy Spirit transforms us, helps us, understand and see the hope promised to us through Jesus.
5. Hope changes us now.
In the gospel, in the cross and resurrection of Jesus, God has given us the greatest gift of all. The cross and resurrection of Jesus create for us a universe of glorious possibility. God is going to give you all things for your good, for your joy, for your conformity into the image of Jesus.
Because of the cross and resurrection of Jesus, because of Easter, we have hope. That’s what we celebrate today. Our hope is a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.