If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.
When unbelievers die, many wail and cry with shrieks of hopelessness, others grieve quietly, and a few remain stoic in denial. As the Bible teaches, they are a people “without hope” (Ephesians 2:12).
In a sense, traditional Africans had hope of continued life after death. For four or five generations they would be remembered by name. But what a hope this was! Women, children, and unmarried Africans had no hope for they lacked any status in society. Eventually, everyone would fade from the memories of the living and become nameless spirits who were feared by the living.
If Christians have no hope of a future resurrection, they are worse off than unbelievers. Non-Christians indulge in the pleasures of sin for a season; the believer denies himself and takes up his cross and follows Jesus. The Bible says, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
But the Bible teaches that Christians do have a sure hope. Their hope is grounded in “Christ Jesus our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1), “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Our hope is based on the certainty of Jesus’s resurrection. Because Jesus lives, all fear is gone.
Think of the evidence for Jesus’s resurrection: 1) We have multiple eyewitnesses who saw Jesus after his resurrection. They touched him, saw him eat, and heard him speak. 2) We have five written eyewitness accounts of his resurrection. 3) The first witnesses were women. Since the testimony of women was not believed in their culture no one would want to fabricate this testimony. 4) The eyewitnesses who testified immediately after the resurrection were never refuted by anyone. 5) The apostles died for this testimony. 6) The miraculous spread of the Christian church in the face of extreme persecution verifies the supernatural truth that Jesus rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven.
Thank God that we have a risen Saviour. Ask God for the courage to face today’s challenges as one who has a sure hope for the future.