This is what we have in Jesus. A lively hope that cannot fail.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3
TO be sensible of this amazing power in the soul is to be born again-to be raised from the grave of corruption-to live on earth a heavenly, a resurrection-life-to have the heart daily ascending in the sweet incense of love and prayer and praise, where its risen Treasure is. It possesses, too, a most comforting power. What but this sustained the disciples in the early struggles of Christianity, amid the storms of persecution, which else had swept them from the earth? They felt that their Master was alive. They needed no external proof of the fact. They possessed in their souls God’s witness. The truth authenticated itself. The three days of His entombment were to them days of sadness, desertion, and gloom. Their sun had set in darkness and in blood, and with it every ray of hope had vanished. All they loved, or cared to live for, had descended to the grave. They had now no arm to strengthen them in their weakness, no bosom to sympathize with them in sorrow, no eye to which they could unveil each hidden thought and struggling emotion. But the resurrection of their Lord was the resurrection of all their buried joys. They now traveled to him as to a living Savior, conscious of a power new-born within them, the power of their Lord’s resurrection. “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” But is this truth less vivifying and precious to us? Has it lost anything of its vitality to quicken, or its power to soothe? Oh, no! truth is eternal and immutable. Years impair not its strength, circumstances change not its character. The same truths which distilled as dew from the lips of Moses, which awoke the seraphic lyre of David, which winged the heaven-soaring spirit of Isaiah, which inspired the manly eloquence of Paul, which floated in visions of sublimity before the eye of John, and which in all ages have fed, animated, and sanctified the people of God, guiding their counsels, soothing their sorrows, and animating their hopes, still are vital and potent in the chequered experiences of the saints, hastening to swell the cloud of witnesses to their divinity and their might. Of such is the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection. Oh, what consolation flows to the Church of God from the truth of a living Savior-a Savior alive to know and to heal our sorrows-to inspire and sanctify our joys-to sympathize with and supply our need! Alive to every cloud that shades the mind, to every cross that chafes the spirit, to every grief that saddens the heart, to every evil that threatens our safety or imperils our happiness! What power, too, do the promises of the gospel derive from this truth! When Jesus speaks by these promises, we feel that there is life and spirit in His word, for it is the spoken word of the living Savior. And when He invites us to Himself for rest, and bids us look to His cross for peace, and asks us to deposit our burdens at His feet, and drink the words that flow from His lips, we feel a living influence stealing over the soul, inspiriting and soothing as that of which the trembling evangelist was conscious, when the glorified Savior gently laid His right hand upon him, and said, “Fear not: I am the first and last: I am he that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Is Jesus alive? Then let what else die, our life, with all its supports, consolations, and hopes, is secure in Him. “Because I live, you shall live also.” A living spring is He. Seasons vary, circumstances change, feelings fluctuate, friendships cool, friends die, but Christ is ever the same. Oh, the blessedness of dealing with a risen, a living Redeemer! We take our needs to Him-they are instantly supplied. We take our sins to Him-they are immediately pardoned. We take our griefs to Him-they are in a moment assuaged.