What is faith? What is the importance of the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ? What hope do we have in this world? Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” It is that which we hope for – the glorification of God and an everlasting life in Heaven – and hope itself that make the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus so important. The simple truth is that the resurrection of Christ extends this hope to us.
Many young children enjoy lighthearted activities such as meeting the Easter bunny, eating special food, and hunting for candy-filled eggs. These joyful activities serve to point us toward Easter’s true purpose, the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death has no hold on those who cling to Christ. It demonstrates that while a single man brought sin and death to this world, one man also brought life and hope in our redemption. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 reminds us, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Thus, by dying on the cross, Christ not only fulfilled his promise and the law, he also gave us hope beyond this world. God exists! Who would we be to say that he exists should Christ not have risen from the dead? But he was resurrected and he is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
Thus, we have hope because the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was really true, and nothing could ever change the fact that it is history–not a legend or some fictional tale passed through the generations. It is the resurrection of God that gave us so much hope in this world. In fact, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). It is this hope we have because of our faith that we know that God is real and that we, Christians, will one day go to heaven. We do not have the ability to see Jesus; however, it is faith granted by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts that grounds our belief. For what is faith if there is nothing to believe in?
Sin is a very real reality in this world. It is the reason we get angry, frustrated, or annoyed when our siblings end up with more ice cream than we did. It is the reason we threw temper tantrums as kids (or maybe some of us still do). It is the reason we see a lot of sick and suffering people. It’s the reason we see so much turmoil and chaos in this world. However, it is also what makes the death and resurrection of Christ so much more an important reality. Knowing that there is a God who loves us so much who was willing to send his Son to live a human life on Earth and then die on a cross meant for thieves, robbers, and the worst of sinners–he also bore all of our sins on his shoulders–is the most amazing blessing. We didn’t deserve this. We’re sinners. But we’re sinners in the hands of a holy, loving God. All of our sins and the blame of our sins went to Jesus when he died on the cross. Imagine the pain a holy, perfect man, the Son of God must have felt from having this sin placed on his shoulders. Nevertheless, the love of God is abounding.
We’ve all experienced difficulty throughout the last few years. Yes, some of us might not have felt the effects of quarantined life as deeply as others -homeschoolers tend to feel accustomed to a home-based life. Nevertheless, many of us have witnessed the death of a loved one or neighbor. Many of us experienced depression prompted by an inability to live the lives we had hoped to live or to help those who really needed help. However, while death is something that we should mourn and grieve over, we know that for the Christian, it isn’t the end. It is the beginning of a new and infinitely better life. This is only because of what Christ did for us on the cross.
This is why we have faith and conviction in the things not seen. 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” (John 11:25-26).