Summary: This sermon was written as part 1 of 2 for Easter Sunday 2007. Part 1 was delivered at the Sunrise service, part 2 at the second service.
What do we mean when we use the word Hope?
Sometimes we mean something that we would like to have happen, something good, or something that we desire, and it might happen, it might not, but we hope that it does
I hope the weather is nice for our easter egg hunt.
I hope the Kansas City Royals win more games than they lose this year.
I hope my teacher doesn’t give us any homework today – (hope springs eternal, eh kids?)
But that’s kind of the small stuff, little hope
There’s a much grander hope to talk about isn’t there?
The BIG HOPE you might say.
HOPE in something bigger than ourselves
Hope in something with value, Hope in something with meaning,
Hope that gives meaning to our life
But what IS that Hope, really
Do you really believe in that HOPE
What are you hoping for – Do you know
Is it just Hope for something better – anything better
Do you really believe that you can have it, that it is even possible, whatever IT IS?
THIS IS HOPE APART FROM GOD
THIS is the best people can come up with when their Hope is in Something other than Jesus
Hope for Hope’s sake, Hope in Hope itself, that unreachable, unattainable something
Here are some quotes on this hope:
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.” (Barbara Kingsolver)
“Hope is the last thing that dies in man; and though it be exceedingly deceitful, yet it is of this good use to us, that while we are traveling through life it conducts us in an easier and more pleasant way to our journey’s end.” -- François de la Rochefoucauld
“Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Pretty Cynical – but that’s the product of this kind of Hope
There is no reachable Goal, No real Meaning, Only uncertainty – It’s a false Hope
And deep down inside, we all know it
But there is such a thing as REAL HOPE
Hope in something Real, Hope in someone Real – God put that Hope in us
God has planted that seed of eternity in the heart of all of us
We know that there is something much bigger, much better than us
Someone who is in total control of the entire universe
That’s where real Hope comes from – because that someone is Jesus Christ
And true Hope comes only from Him
Peter calls it living Hope in our passage today,
Living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
1Peter 1: 3-5 (NIV)3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
In order to understand just what this living hope is and why it comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we need to understand why Jesus had to die in the first place.
We celebrate Easter every year. We get together in our church and we proclaim – He is risen, Jesus Christ has risen and he is alive!
And it is true and it is wonderful. But in order to be resurrected, first he had to die,
Why did he have to die? Was he just showing off – proving that he could do it, lay down his life and then pick it up again?
NO - That’s not it at all. It does prove something, it proves that he was who he said he was, the messiah, the son of God, a member of the Trinity, God in the flesh!
But the reason Jesus had to die was to solve a problem. A big problem – The Big Problem
A problem that started all the way back in the beginning, when God created man.
When God created Adam and Eve.
See, he created us, he created man to love Him and to have this incredible intimate relationship with Him, our creator, with God. That’s what you were made for.
But sin entered the picture when Adam and Eve ate from the tree. And our sin destroyed that relationship. It separated man from God.
God is perfect and Holy. And he cannot just wink at sin and tolerate it, Part of his perfection as God is his perfect justice,