Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5
Vitamins, plastic surgery, vampires, time-erasing creams, miracle foods: Mankind is perpetually obsessed with the concept of living eternally and defeating death. This is a trait that distinguishes us from the animal kingdom. Just ask the latest armadillo to walk out in front of a car.
The spark of eternity burns brightly within man. It is God’s stamp upon our hearts. Even those who have resigned themselves to believe death is the end-all would, I suspect, rejoice to learn they’re wrong – if only they’re willing to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus offers to all who believe.
Just as mankind is unique among God’s creation, we whose faith is in Christ are unique among mankind because only we have a living hope. Others hope in dead men, dead ideas and soon-to-be-dead things. But we have a living hope because we have a living Savior. He has defeated death and hell, and as a result, so shall we.
It is this living hope that propels us to endure – more to endure but to live powerfully and purposefully out of gratitude to the One who did what we could not. And in His infinite grace, He has not only spared us what we deserve but allowed us to share in His reward, an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
He gives us a living hope for eternity but also for today. After all, what could be impossible for the God who overcame the grave? What troubles do we face that are greater than death? How can we continue entertaining fatalistic thoughts in light of such death-defying power?
This life is a vapor that will quickly vanish. It is impossible to cling to a vapor, but it’s very possible to cling to a living Savior. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Live righteously and rightly, with purpose and passion, with a heavenly hope and an unearthly earnest. Live with the life He has given you in light of the life you are yet to receive.
Perhaps this Easter season you are grieving. You are overwhelmed. You are facing uncertainty. You may even be facing certain death. Even you – especially you – are called to rejoice because you know your hope is not in this world. God calls you to press on. As C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
Do not get bogged down in these shadowlands, my friends. Our true country – where our true citizenship is found and where our true lives will be lived in perfect, unfailing bodies and maintenance-free mansions – lies just beyond.
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him. – 1 Corinthians 2:9
Celebrate the miracle of Easter. Then live every day as if it were Easter.