Summary: This Easter sermon offers hope and encouragement to all, especially those who are terminally ill.
We Have A Reason to Hope
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
From time to time, I will hear someone say, "All hope is lost!"
When people say that all hope is lost,
it means their expectation has died.
That is exactly what happened to believers…
when they knew Jesus was dead.
After His death on the cross…
the disciples and His followers believed “All hope was lost”.
Jesus been crucified.
Now on Easter Sunday morning,
He was gone from the tomb where they laid His body.
John chapter 20 tells us
after Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb,
she runs to tell Peter.
At that time, Mary Magdalene did NOT know Jesus had risen!
Peter and John ran to the tomb.
John 20:8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.
What did John believe?
He believed what Mary Magdalene had said
about the body being gone!
After Peter and John saw that Jesus was gone from the tomb,
they just went home.
What did Mary Magdalene do after Peter and John went home?
John 20:11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping,…
Mary is weeping because she thinks Jesus is dead
and somebody has stolen His body!
The followers of Jesus were discouraged.
They were truly disillusioned because of what had happened.
The disciples had ignored Jesus' prophecy
of His death and resurrection.
Peter had denied his faith, his friends, and his Savior.
Judas had already betrayed Him.
When Jesus was taken from the Garden of Gethsemane,
all the disciples scattered like sheep having no shepherd.
This scattering even included John who referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."
Peter and John stood silently in the shadows,
as Jesus was falsely accused saying nothing in His defense.
John watched Jesus die on Calvary.
Some of the women who followed Jesus watched as well.
Joseph of Arimathaea placed Jesus' body inside his own tomb.
For 3 long days and nights,
the Savior, Who had taught them the way of life everlasting,
was now dead.
For them and many others, all hope, it seemed, was lost.
Hiding in an upper room with the doors and windows shut,
the disciples pray that those who killed Jesus
would not find them.
All appeared hopeless.
However, God raised Jesus from the dead just as was promised!
This gave the disciples back the hope they had lost.
They found they now had a reason to hope!
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:
This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.
to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
We are not much different than John and the others.
We also need a reason to hope.
Today’s Bible passage in 1 Peter says
Jesus has saved us unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!
Praise the Lord!
Point #1. The lost have a reason to hope.
The Bible points to the fact
that God wants all men everywhere to be saved.
The false doctrine of Calvinism teaches
that some people are born to be saved
and others are born to be lost.
That’s not what Jesus said!
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
And listen to these verses!
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.