1 Peter 1:3
Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
I should go back to verse three and pick up a phrase that I had not time to discuss yesterday: “[God] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”(emphasis added). There is a world of meaning in that last phrase. In a word, our “living hope” of eternal life, of an inheritance which is unfading, undefiled, and imperishable reserved in heaven for us, of being kept by the power of God unto such wondrous salvation—all of this and more is made possible only through the resurrection of God’s dear Son from the dead. The Apostle Paul said as much regarding the false teaching that Christ was not raised when he wrote: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
The truth of the gospel hinges on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and the grave—its reality and its historicity. To look upon it as a myth or a “narrative” is to relegate the Christian faith unto a bedtime story fit for children but not sensible adults who live in a real world of life and death struggle, and certainly not when one is lying on his deathbed. Oh, I like a good novel. There is much to be learned from Les Miserables and A Tale of Two Cities, and I heartily encourage people to read great literature for what it teaches us about goodness, truth, and beauty. But the gospel of Jesus Christ far surpasses all of this, indeed, makes goodness, truth, and beauty real. The resurrection of Jesus Christ takes what might be a fifty-fifty chance and turns it into a sure hope, it takes a good deed and gives it eternal value, it takes the inward ache we feel for something we can’t define and turns it into faith in a real Savior, it takes the ugliest person and transforms him into an angelic being, and it does all of this because the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest act of love mankind will ever experience.
You can’t make this up. Jesus Christ is he whom the world was longing for even when it didn’t know it (Acts 17:27). All the pagan sacrifices, its myths, its religions, were a longing for that which it knew must be out there but could not find because of darkened minds (Romans 1:18ff). The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the answer to man’s questions, burdens, and his hopes. The Son of God became the Son of Man that children of men may become children of God. That was ever the hope of man that has been answered by the resurrection of Christ. And you may be born again through faith in him.