Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Resurrection Hope

It was my joy and pleasure to lead worship at Southwest Church of Christ for our Easter service. It was also a huge blessing to be asked to speak and take our hearts to the Lord's Supper. Here are the words I spoke:

As we celebrate Jesus Christ, our hope, who is risen. And, as we prepare to take the Lord ’s Supper together, I would like us to think about Hope.

We use “hope” to describe a number of life situations:
- I “hope” I get that job I applied for.
- My throat is sore. I “hope” I don’t get sick this week.
- I “hope” I get an A on my final. I need my average to go up before school ends.
- Politicians who declare they are the “hope” of our nation.
- I “hope” we go somewhere good for lunch.
Maybe I’m being too hard on our vocabulary.

The people of Jesus’ day had a different hope.
They had heard the many prophecies and believed this man would come and lead them. They were under the rule of many earthly kingdoms throughout history; Egypt, Syrian, Babylonian, Greek, and Roman empires. They wanted to return to being the chosen people again. So much so, they marched Jesus in on a donkey in Triumph so he could reign and free them from the rule of the Caesars and the Herods.

However, Jesus knew his kingdom would be different. It crushed the hope of many to learn Jesus wasn't there to sit on a throne and build armies. When they saw their King killed, they lost all hope. Where would they turn? Many times the crowds would walk away from Jesus because he wasn’t doing what they thought he was going to do. There are many who are still waiting. They don’t believe the real Messiah was Jesus. So they wait for the real Messiah to come to earth and live up to the picture of hope and kingdoms they believe are supposed to be manifested here on earth and crush and conquer the tyranny they are ruled under. Many of us wonder when that day will come.

The Hope we have in Jesus is bigger than that. The kind of hope we have in Jesus is the kind talked about by the Hebrew author:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Our Hope is alive! Jesus, our Hope, lives! He conquered death and the grave. We KNOW Jesus is coming again for us, therefore, we have hope! We have assurance and conviction that the plan is sealed. Jesus sealed our future with the breaking of his body and the spilling of his blood and by raising from the dead and showing himself to his closest friends. This is known as the Good News…the Gospel.

Through this small meal, we eat and remember the words of Christ. We remember his promise to save us. We anticipate his promise that we will enter his Kingdom. Jesus Christ reigns on his throne. And we eat and proclaim the coming King until the day of his return.