When a lot of people think of hope I think our mind first goes to wish fulfillment – my five-year-old son saying “I hope I get to stay at grandma and grandpas this summer!” for instance. The word “wish” is almost interchangeable with “hope” in that sentence.
But the hope we are going to talk about is different and deeper than simply a wish.
Christian hope lies in an unshakable belief that God will do what he says he will. That he is who he says he is. That regardless of how things look in the moment, God is with us. That in the face of death, distraction, and despair, the promises of God remain despite the darkness of the night.
So why, and how, can we have that hope?
The short answer is that we can have this hope because it is logical to believe that Jesus is who he says he is, and therefore his words are trustworthy. And the rational foundation of that trust is founded on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. Even after his remarkable and exemplary life, almost all the apostles ran away at the time of the crucifixion. If he had not risen that would’ve been the end of it.
But the fact remains that Jesus did rise, and appeared to not only the disciples but the others, even those who had not believed in him during his life. However even today there remains many people who say that the apostles were merely a part of conspiracy, making it look like Jesus rose from the dead when he really hadn’t. But when we examine those claims, I think it’s easy to see but that doesn’t make sense, if for no other reason than that every single apostle except for one died for the doctrine of the resurrection, and not only died, but died horrifically.
Newsflash: People don’t just quietly accept horrific deaths for lies that they made up.
I’m pretty sure that whenever the crucifix came out or any of the other tools of torture that were used on the apostles, that they would have recanted quickly if they were simply the masterminds of a grand ruse.
And so to me, that is the crux of the reason we can know that Jesus is trustworthy. He said who he was, he showed who he was through his resurrection, and those that experienced it firsthand knew beyond a shadow of a doubt all the things written in the gospel to be true and dramatically demonstrated that belief through their own lives and deaths.
That is why we hope. That is why it makes sense to hope – not only because of the love Christ has for us and showed us on the cross, but because of the glory of the resurrection which is what we place our trust in when we hope in God.