As we have already seen, 1 Peter is addressed to those who are suffering because of their belief in Jesus. It is particularly appropriate, then, that right at the beginning of his letter Peter directs his readers’ attention to the hope that awaits them.
As he says, the hope of a Christian is a living hope, precisely because it is a hope that rests on the resurrection of Jesus (1 Pet. 1:3). Because of Jesus’ resurrection, Christians can look forward to an inheritance in heaven that will not perish or fade (1 Pet. 1:4). In other words, no matter how bad things become, think about what awaits us when it is all over.
Indeed, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is a guarantee that we also can be raised (1 Cor. 15:20-21). As Paul puts it, “and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). But because Jesus has been raised from the dead, He has shown that He has the power to conquer death itself. Thus, the Christian hope finds its basis in the historical event of Christ’s resurrection. His resurrection is the foundation of ours at the end of time.
Where would we be without that hope and promise? Everything that Christ did for us culminates in the promise of the resurrection. Without that, what hope do we have, especially because we know that contrary to popular Christian belief, the dead are in an unconscious sleep in the grave?
“To the Christian, death is but a sleep, a moment of silence and darkness. The life is hid with Christ in God, and ‘when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.’ John 8:51-52; Col. 3:4. . . . [A]t His second coming all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious, immortal life.” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 787.
|Think about the apparent finality of death. It’s so harsh, so unforgiving, and so real. Why, then, is the promise of the resurrection so important to our faith and to everything we believe in and hope for?|