Summary: Consider the hope that we have in Jesus by looking once again at the death and resurrection of Jesus. 1- the excruciating death 2- the exhilarating resurrection
INTRO.- ILL.- In 1173 the Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on what would become his most famous project: A separately standing eight-story bell tower for the Cathedral of the city of Pisa. The tower was to be eight-stories and 185-foot tall. There was just one "little" problem: builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated, and the foundation was far too shallow to adequately hold the structure!
And sure enough, before long the whole structure had begun to tilt... and it continued to tilt... until finally the architect and the builders realized that nothing could be done to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again.
It took 174 years to build the Tower of Pisa and during that time many things were done to try and compensate for the "tilt." The foundation was shored up; the upper levels were even built at an angle to try to make the top of the tower look straight. Nothing worked. The tower has stood for over 800 years, but it leans 18 feet away from where it should be (10 degrees from the vertical, for all the engineers). One day, experts say, it will fall and all because it wasn’t built on the right foundation.
And this may well happen. Things do crumble in this life and especially, if they don’t have the right foundation. But it’s not just buildings that crumble and fall. It’s lives as well.
ILL.- For example, in recent months we have been bombarded with news about the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith. And it seems that it was almost inevitable that she was going to die an early death because of her drug usage and seemingly wild way of living.
I am not happy that she died an early death at the age of only 39 but apparently, her foundation was not good. I don’t know if she claimed to have any faith in Christ at all, but without that foundation no one is ready for death.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
ILL.- Now here’s the other side of the coin…another testimony. One lady said: “As a young girl I put God first in my life, when my biggest concern was how to fix my hair. As I grew into an adult my concerns became much greater. I lived through my oldest child’s severe head injury, a broken marriage, poverty, and both my parents’ tragic deaths in a tornado.”
How could a person endure such difficult things in life and continue to live? JESUS.
She said, “Although I do not understand it all, I have held onto my foundation - Jesus. I continue to realize that God IS faithful. He loves me and I need him to be first in my life.”
ILL.- A little over a month before he died, the famous atheist Jean-Paul Sartre declared that he so strongly resisted feelings of despair that he would say to himself, “I know I shall die in hope.” Then in profound sadness, he would add, “But hope needs a foundation.”
Our hope lies in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Outside of Christ there is little hope. The world offers no hope. Hollywood can’t produce it. Science can invent it or find it. It is found only in Jesus. He is our hope and the foundation of our hope.