Terry R. Baughman
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:13–14).
From the Four Gospels to the Revelation of Jesus Christ there is an incredible story of hope. Jesus was born in this world, the living Word of God revealed in humanity. He showed us a better way to live and then provided redemption for our sins and the solution for our salvation through His death on the Cross, taking our place in judgment. After three days, sufficient time to assure all believers of His ultimate sacrifice, He arose from the darkness of the tomb into the light of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the power of the Gospel message and the foundation of our hope in all that God has promised.
The Gospels agree in declaring one dynamic reality: Jesus is alive forevermore! The church was founded on the eternal truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and He IS the way, the truth, and the life. (See Matthew 16:16–18, John 14:6.) The church thrives in anticipation of the eternal hope of fulfilled promise: Jesus is coming again!
Our faith in Christ’s resurrection and our hope in a future resurrection of the “dead in Christ” sustains us against every adversity. We have a hope beyond our past failings, beyond the darkness of our disappointments, and beyond our own demise. In the lyrics of Overcome, by Elevation Worship, “Now the darkness fades, Into new beginnings, As we lift our eyes to a hope beyond, All creation waits, With an expectation, To declare the reign of the Lord our God.”
We have a hope beyond! “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19). It is a living hope because of Jesus’ resurrection. Peter wrote, “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, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3–4).
Essentially, hope is not hope when it is tethered to this life. Hope rises beyond our mortal existence and is only realized when anchored in faith is something greater than the present. Paul questioned, “What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19). Paul concluded that believers are, “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
If our hope was only in the present, only in this life, there would be cause for despair. Paul pointed out the contrast, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead ….” (1 Corinthians 15:19–20 KJV). Upon the resurrection hangs all of our hope.
So we live in hope, a hope beyond!
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54–57 NIV).