When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, our world was plunged into darkness. Despite all that God had provided for them, they had chosen their own way and thus brought pain and suffering into this world. If you want an explanation for the terrible pain and suffering our world is currently crippled by, look no further. We have all gone our own way, away from God and away from his love.
Yet amidst the gloom of Eden there was a ray of hope. God promised Eve that her offspring would crush the head of the serpent - the animal employed by Satan to deceive Eve. Here was a promise that has given hope to centuries of human existence. That someone would be brought into this world who could undo the pain and the suffering. Someone who could bring us back into relationship with God. Someone who could rescue us from the judgement of God against sin.
Friend do you understand that God never intended our world to be like this? And for centuries, as humans have been eking out an existence, continuing to go our own way, trying to make ends meet, God has remained faithful to his promise. He has maintained that ray of hope and 2000 years ago, that hope burst in on our world in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was God in human flesh. No mortal man could crush the serpent and rescue us from our sin - so the Father sent the Son, to be the Saviour of the world.
He went about bringing hope into the world, into the lives of mourning, hurting, hopeless folk. He was a glorious man, everything God had intended for mankind from the beginning and more. He was the light in the darkness of our world and He claimed to be The Way back to God.
And what was our response to this glorious embodiment of God’s love and faithfulness? Our cruel sinful hands took him and nailed him to a cross. Compelled by forces of evil and our sinful nature we took the hope of generations, and crucified Him. As he hung there on the cross, all hope was all but gone - the light all but extinguished - our world plunged into thick darkness for 3 long hours. He died and was buried. Hope was cancelled - or was it?
Very early in the morning of the third day after his death, in mighty power, God raised Christ from death itself, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. When his disciples came looking for him, angels appeared to them and declared - He is risen!!
Over the next days and hours, slowly the truth of what had actually happened on the cross became clear. Just as God had shone a ray of hope in the darkness of Eden, so light shone also from the darkness of Calvary. The real reason the Lord Jesus died was not because we killed him. We had no real power to do that in any case. The reason he died was because the wages of sin is death, and he must die - not for his own sins, he had none - but for ours. God laid on him the iniquity of us all so that our sins could be fully dealt with and we could be fully forgiven.
And having dealt with our sins, utterly - and having entered into death itself for 3 days - the sinless Son of God simply must be raised from the dead.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Friend, this is our worlds only hope. You may find hope in many things but unless your hope is in an infinite God then your hope is finite. Hope that is finite is not even hope, it is just wishful thinking. Can your hope raise the dead? Does your hope promise sins forgiven, guilt and shame forever dealt with? Does your hope offer peace (Romans 5.1-2)?
Today, we celebrate a risen Christ, a risen Lord and Saviour. Sin can wreak its havoc on this world but it cannot cancel hope. If you do not have this hope, if you are fearful and hope-less, we pray that you will seek after God. Realise what Christ has done on the cross, believe that he rose from the dead, trust in him for your souls salvation.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.