1Peter 1:3-9 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ... Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls."
It is now the 2nd Sunday of Easter, and slowly we perceive that something has changed. We have heard the tomb is empty, we have heard the savior is risen, but we have not put it all together. We do not know what this all means. And because we cannot go to the tomb, and because we have not seen the risen savior, well, we must acknowledge that when the world says its unreasonable to believe that the dead rise from death, it is unreasonable to believe that God became flesh and dwelt among us. It is unreasonable to believe that God made man, suffered and died for sinners on a cross. It is unreasonable to believe that such a death, could purchase for all, forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and life everlasting.
And even if it all be unreasonable, still we believe. We believe, not because of us, who we are, or what we have done, but we believe because God has worked in us a new life and made us a new creation, it is this new creation, by the hand of God, which is able to believe such great things. But we know that God has worked a new creation in us, even though we may not understand how or why. We know that God has worked a new creation in us because we believe, and by ourselves all we could doubt and question.
Its not that doubt and questions have gone away, they remain, but no longer do they rule over us, no longer do they govern our lives. This too is a sign of the new creation, by grace through faith, for Jesus sake. Although it was Jesus suffering and death for us, that paid our debts, forgave our sins, and made peace with God for us, it is not Jesus death which gives hope, but rather it is the resurrection which gives hope. It shows that God accepted the sacrifice. It shows that Jesus is the savior of the world. It shows that Sin, death, and the devil not longer have any power over Him. And when he says to us that He will share with us, this great victory over every enemy and adversary, this is what gives us hope, and great joy.
Doubt and question cannot rule over our life, nor can sin death and the devil, for we have one Lord, and he rules over us, the Lord of our life and the King of our heart. Jesus rules over us, and Jesus has won the victory, and shares this victory with us. Its not that doubt and questions are gone, but since we are a new creation, since Jesus is risen from the dead, we know what they mean. It means that we have wandered from our Lord, Savior, and Good Shepherd. I don’t know anyone who likes to live in fear and doubt, so when Jesus comes and calls us, we leave whatever had appeared a greener grass, and return to the safe secure loving arms of our Lord and Savior. So in a way the fear and doubt are good, for they help us to see that we have wandered, remind us why we need a savior, and lead us to repent and to return to God.
We sin much, daily, and this is not good. God is holy, and God calls us to be holy. And if that were not enough, when by grace through faith, God worked in us a new creation, it is not just a new creation he worked.. But by Grace through faith we have become the children of God, so that all that we do, reflects on our loving heavenly Father, and so by doing good, we seek to honor and praise our Father in heaven for all that he has done for us.
We sin much daily, and if we were in full possession of our inheritance, as the children of God, we might waste it, loose it, or spoil it. So God keeps our inheritance safe for us. God keeps it an "inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you."
Oh, there may be days when we act the doubting Thomas, when the cares of the world and the flesh consume all our thoughts and time. There may be times when we think that we could not believe except if we see and touch for ourselves, but thankfully we are not alone, and though the risen Christ does not appear to us, he does speak to us through the voices of our brothers and sisters who call us to return, and remind us of the promise that was given. God has not left us to walk the road of faith alone, but as part of a family we walk it with many others, by faith. And as we walk and talk along the way, we remind each other of our destination and the end of the road. For "as the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls."