Your Great Hope

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The hope of the resurrection is not a new concept that begins with Christianity but is as old as the sentence of death that came at the first sin and sinners in the Garden. The scripture states:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (1 Pe 1:18-20)

The Apostle Paul declares, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1 Co 15:20) and now expands his teaching on the resurrection with his words to the believers in Rome, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Rom 8:22-23)

The firstfruit offering was established as a remembrance of Israel’s slavery in Egypt and to remember how God delivered them from slavery. In this offering there also was a remembrance of God’s promise of “a land that floweth with milk and honey” being fulfilled.  

The Apostle Paul used this Jewish holy day as a springboard to teach about the resurrection of the dead. The hope of the resurrection was a hope of the people of God from the sting of sin and death when he said:

"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Rom 8:23)

The Apostle Paul declares, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept,” (1 Co 15:20) and now expands his teaching on the resurrection with his words to the believers in Rome, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body,” (Rom 8:22-23) he was reaffirming the truth of the resurrection as embedded in the Old Testament.

The firstfruit offering was established as a remembrance of Israel’s slavery in Egypt and to remember the how God delivered them from slavery. In this offering also was a remembrance of God’s promise of “a land that floweth with milk and honey” being fulfilled.  

The book of Job is believed to be the earliest writing in the Bible that makes this clear. Job believed in the salvation that would be had in Jesus and his resurrection from the dead with these words:

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)

David, King of Israel, believed in the resurrection of the dead when he spoke these words about his child who died as a result of his sinful relationship with Bathsheba. He said “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Sa 12:23)

Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, belief in the resurrection is made clear in their conversation with Jesus about their brother's death. Martha said:

“I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.” (John 11:22-23), “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24)

Jesus was the “first fruit” of the resurrection and at His death, the word of God reveals, “the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Mat 27:52-53)

You have hope. Not just in this life but for all eternity. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

God loves you and you have His promise to raise you from the dead to be with Him forever!


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