THE CELEBRATION OF HOPE IS BASED ON LIFE NOT DEATH! The world has all kinds of festivals or celebrations each year. And most of them revolving around people are around the lives of dead people. The Easter celebration is different. Our celebration is based on life not death. The Hope of Christianity is an empty tomb. “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24:1-3 NIV).” The hope of Christianity is not found in a mosque, or temple, or historical landmark but rather in an empty tomb. Christians do not worship manmade objects or look to religious relics to give us hope. What gave those women hope that first Easter morning was an empty tomb. They did not worship the tomb but the fact it was empty gave them hope. That same visual picture of an empty tomb gives us hope today and it has given others hope for over 2000 years. Our bodies may die and be placed in the ground but they will not remain there. Just as Jesus was raised up so one day we will be raised up. The empty tomb displays for us the omnipotent power of our God over life and death. And that is reason to celebrate today.
The Hope Of Christianity Is A Living Savior. As the women wondered about the empty tomb two angels appeared to them and said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here He has risen!” (Luke 24:5b-6a NIV). The hope of Christianity is based on a living Savior not a dead prophet or a manmade God. Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Islamism, and the other 10,000 religions of the world have created their own God or gods. And many of these religions have a fatalistic doctrine that destroys hope, or they have fantasy doctrines that give false hope. But none of them offer the hope of a living Savior, if indeed they claim to have a Savior at all. Christianity, on the other hand, has a living Savior. Jesus demonstrated His power over death by rising from the grave. No other religious leader has done that. And Jesus is still alive in the world today giving us hope and guidance. We do not go to tombs, buildings or spiritual leaders seeking Jesus because He is always with us.
The Hope of Christianity Is God’s Word. Jesus, the Son of God had predicted these events before they happened. He told His disciples these things would happen before they ever went to Jerusalem. The angels reminded the women of Jesus’ words, “Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words” (Luke 24:6b-8 NIV). The bible is God’s Word. It is what reveals to us God’s story from the beginning of creation in the book of Genesis until the end of the world in Revelation. It is when we forget to read and believe the book that we lose hope. But when we read the Word then we can Celebrate Hope because we know the rest of the story…we know that the ultimate outcome of all life’s testing will result in victory for God’s children. The Celebration of Hope is based on Life not Death. More to come on the Celebration of Hope.