In it, Not of it - A New Hope

Posted by donna on April 1, 2020

The great hope of the Gospel is not just that I get to go to heaven when I die, but that I am restored to a right relationship with God in the here and now. Like Abraham, I am declared righteous before God, freed from penalty, because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that forever satisfied the wrath of God against my sin.

easter.jpgAfter I get through all the commercialism, chocolate bunnies, chickens, assorted other barnyard animals, superheroes, and other confectionary figures, I begin to see Easter in a new light.  As I reflect on this Easter season, I see A NEW HOPE. The cross was the destiny for Jesus, and it was necessary. The grave was temporary, and it was necessary. But in the resurrection, I see a new hope in my restored relationship to my Heavenly Father, my Creator, the one who formed me and knew me before I breathed my first breath.

I now live a new life, a new freedom, a new identity in the here and now, just as Paul described in Galatians 2:20; I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” As I reflect on Easter, I know that heaven may be my destiny, but my life in faith, in Christ, in this present moment takes on a new perspective.

In a world filled with fear, tribalism, exclusiveness, rich vs poor, impending financial crisis, pandemic viruses and general hopelessness in the future, the Gospel, and only the Gospel, gives a new hope. This new hope that we live is not just for ourselves. If we truly live as Paul describes in Galatians 2:20, the life of living in the flesh by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us, then we will shine as lights of this new hope to those around us.  Our light will shine on those who lack hope and are seeking for hope in some way. The Gospel is much more lived out than talked about.

Easter often focuses on the two bookends of the passion, suffering and crucifixion of Jesus on the one side, and that glorious resurrection morning as the end of the story. As others have often noted; It’s Friday, but Sundays a coming! However, we must also look at the new hope that Easter brings that allows each of us to live in this world, yet so changed, so transformed by the power of the Gospel, that we do not assimilate into the world. We have been marked; we are different. We are in it, NOT of it.

Jesus shared this new hope with a woman desperately seeking hope as He used a simple illustration of water and thirst. The Samaritan woman didn’t understand at first and failed to see the hope Jesus was offering her. Philip shared this same hope with an Ethiopian dignitary who saw the hope, responded and was baptized as an outward expression of his receiving this new hope. Peter preached this new hope and over 3,000 responded in a single day.

What about you and me?  How are we living this new hope that we have in a way that draws others to Jesus? This Easter we may, and we should focus on the bookends of Easter, the suffering and crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. We should also focus on the new hope that we have in the here and now through these momentous events that have changed us, transformed us and given us a message of new hope for those who have no hope.

Living in the victory of the resurrection, a new hope today and forever!

Bill Allan first name.PNG 

Rev. Bill Allan 
AGC President 

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