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A Present Hope

If the hope of Easter is found in Jesus’ resurrection, it is only logical to beg the question, “What did the resurrection actually accomplish?” The resurrection was the culmination of the divine salvation plan, ensuring the fulfillment of every redemptive purpose the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had prepared in eternity past. The resurrection guarantees life-changing hope to all who believe, both in this life and the life to come.

The resurrection reveals four truths about Jesus:

The resurrection validated all of Jesus’ claims about Himself.
Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). He also claimed to be sinless (John 8:29), eternal (John 10:28), “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and to possess the authority to forgive sins (Luke 5:20). Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection many times (John 10:17; 16:16; Luke 18:33).

The resurrection proved that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
“There are countless religions in the world, and lots of people believe that many roads lead to heaven. Others cynically ask, ‘How can you be so sure that Christianity is right and all other belief systems are wrong?’ The resurrection provides the answer. No other religious figure in history claimed to be God and then backed it up by conquering death. As such, Jesus’ words in John 14:6 are perfectly and powerfully true: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ Acts 4:12 also bears this out: ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’”

The resurrection validated Jesus as head of the church.
Jesus foretold the advent of the church in Matthew 16, Acts 1 and elsewhere in Scripture. The fulfillment of His prophecy is described in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, about fifty days after His resurrection, “when the Holy Spirit descended upon a group of believers in Jerusalem in miraculous power, sparking the genesis and rapid spread of Christianity. The church is the collective, worldwide body of Jesus’ followers that represent Him on earth. It’s mission is to reflect God’s glory (I Corinthians 10:31) through various Spirit-endowed gifts (I Corinthians 12) and proclaim the gospel of salvation through Jesus to all nations (Matthew 29:19-20).”

“At the head of the church is Christ Jesus Himself. Just as a dead king can’t rule a country and a dead CEO can’t oversee a corporation, a dead savior could never lead the church. But Jesus isn’t dead! Colossians 1:18 affirms, ‘And He is the head of the body, the church, He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.’ The risen Lord’s complete, loving authority over His church gives us present hope in all we do as a body of believers.”

The resurrection positioned Jesus as our Great High Priest.
The Old Testament’s elaborate sacrificial and priestly system allowed the High Priest to enter the temple’s Most Holy Place only once each year, on the Day of Atonement, to make a sacrifice for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16). Hebrews 4-10 shows in vivid detail how Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the Old Testament Law, “ushering in a new covenant of hope and redemption through His blood. This is only possible because Jesus is ‘a great high priest who has passed through the heavens’ (Hebrews 4:14) an allusion to His death, resurrection and ascension.” Romans 8:34 also states, “Christ Jesus who died, more than than, who was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” “What great hope we have in the fact that our Savior is also our great High Priest, perfectly representing us before the Father!”

The resurrection of Jesus gives a present hope to all who believe. In Christ, the same divine power that predestines (God’s purpose that is determined long before it is brought to pass), calls (chosen by God), regenerates (new birth – Titus 3:5), justifies (the judicial act of God by which He pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ – Romans 5:1-10), sanctifies (pure, holy, and set apart – Colossians 3:1-4) and ultimately glorifies sinners now lives inside of you!

Today, if you’ve repented and trusted in Jesus, you can rest assured that your sins have been completely atoned for. Your salvation isn’t up for debate. God is completely satisfied with His Son’s sacrifice, and you are the beneficiary of this great exchange.

The resurrection changed everything, and gives us hope and peace even today. Celebrate with us on Easter Sunday at BIXBY’S FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH at 10:30 am

More from this Series

The HOPE of Easter Part 1

The History of Easter Part 2

Our Desperate Need for Hope Part 3

Hope Revealed Part 4

A Living Hope Part 5

A Present Hope Part 6

Sources

Joshua Cooley, “The Hope of Easter”, Outreach, Inc., 2016
The Broadman Bible Commentary, Volume 9, Broadman Press, 1970.

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