Our Greatest Hope
// Charlie DeTellis
During the weeks leading up to Easter, we naturally reflect upon the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Personally, it’s a time when I reexamine my own faith and commitment to God.
The crucifixion of Jesus is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Three years prior, Jesus even prophesied His own death to His disciples in Mark 8:31. “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again.”
Jesus’ death on the cross is vitally important because without it, we would have no hope of forgiveness or eternal life. Jesus paid the debt of our sins upon the cross, though He was sinless. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We no longer need to live with guilt and shame. We need to walk in newness of life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
In the last moment before He died Jesus said, “It is finished! Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” Jesus acknowledges that He completed His work. He knew His mission was to give His life as a sacrifice to redeem mankind. As Jesus took His last breath, the earth shook, and the temple curtain was torn. The graves of the saints opened—as their bodies were raised from the dead.
After His death, the following details are described in Matthew 27: “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.”
However, of equal importance is the resurrection of Christ—as this proved Jesus indeed was the Son of God—conquering death and the grave. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. We no longer need to fear death. In John 11:25-26 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
Our greatest hope is that we also will rise again from the dead. My dad always said the day he went to glory would be his greatest day. This is promised to us in John 5:28-29: “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 ~Charlie DeTellis