‘What Hope are you Buying’


1 Peter 1:3-9   


Easter offers a “living” hope (v3)

Every hope your soul can lift up is merely a wishing hope

We cannot guarantee that our hopes will be obtained, or kept

Biblical hope is different, it’s knowing rather than wishing

Easter’s hope is given by Jesus Christ who is v3 the ‘Lord’

Easter’s hope is guaranteed by Jesus Christ who was ‘raised’

The Apostle Peter calls this a ‘living hope’

It cannot wither, or die, because (v5) the ‘power’ of God keeps it

You cannot match that, the world cannot match it, and human religion cannot match it

What is this living hope?

Jesus who died on a cross to pay for our sin, was raised in victory over our sin and death

Those who trust in Christ, (v1) are born again:  God does something we don’t!

v4 our new life includes an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading

v3 This hope is not to those who deserve it, but according to God’s Mercy

Right now this mercy is ready for anyone in any condition  

     “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”  Romans 10:13

Are you willing to acknowledge you need to be saved? 

Is God giving you faith to believe that Jesus is the One who saves?

Will you submit to call on him:  Jesus, forgive me and have my life


The hope of Easter can withstand a messy world 

Disappointments, suffering, conflict and loss are inescapable (vs 6-7)

The Bible doesn’t try to claim that faith will remove all of them

Bible does claim that hope in Christ can stand up to all of them

God is in every difficulty, with the same intensity he had in saving us

God is purposeful in every trial, regardless of people’s intention, God causes it to be for our good

God tells us how it ends:  Christ victoriously returns to glorify his people

Life is hard, heartaches are real, but our joy remains

Nothing can diminish hope that is imperishable – undefiled – unfading

If our trust is in Christ, it’s impossible to be hopeless

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us” Romans 5:5

The promises we have in Christ are both unchanging, and glorious

When we feel hopeless, it’s because we are not fully trusting Christ

Our hope can actually increase with our difficulties,

Trials freshly remind us that our hopes belong in Christ alone


Resurrection hope keeps us in anticipation (vs 8-9)

The best is always yet to come

Christ whom we love above all else, is ‘preparing a place for us’

Our aging body will be raised new, and our soul will be made complete

It is coming!  Life that’s whole and joy that is undisturbed

We have hope now, but its greatest fulfillment is still ahead

Our hope is in Christ, so it is fulfilled (v7) when he is revealed

Do you love Christ?  You will be with him, that’s anticipation!


Are your hopes merely wishes?  Does your joy survive the battering of life?

Christ is alive to give you hope that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading



Is Jesus alive? It really does matter


I Corinthians 15:14-19

We all want to fill our life with what really matters. You may have nothing against Easter, but you wonder – does it really matter?


Many people think Jesus’ resurrection is an empty myth

The Bible itself describes the implications if that is true

If Easter is not true, Christianity calls itself empty and foolish

v14 our preaching would be empty: it is meaningless to be here talking about a myth

v14 our faith would be empty: it is foolish to trust in Jesus to give life if he is lifeless

v15 we would be misrepresenting God, by making up what he has done

The entire weight of Christianity rests on whether or not Easter is true


There is An Even Bigger Implication About Easter

v17 “If Christ has not been raised . . you are still in your sins”

We are all sinners! We know it’s true, but we cover it over

We tell ourselves, ‘I’m not as bad as other people’. But you are still a sinner

Or we think, ‘I have done more good stuff than bad’. But you are still a sinner

God is perfect and this has a couple unavoidable implications

(1) He will not allow sin to enter and ruin heaven

(2) He must judge all sin – and we are all sinners!

Human religions respond: “You must do certain things to get rid of guilt”

They place the weight of our eternity on our being faithful enough to earn forgiveness

This may appeal to our pride but it doesn’t change reality: no religious activity or good works can undo that “we are still in our sin”

Christianity is totally different, it declares God did it all

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”  (John 3:16)

We cannot undo our sin, so God came to us to remove the guilt of our sin

Jesus died and was raised for one purpose – to save sinners

If Easter is false, then no one has solved our sin problem

We cannot save ourselves, so if Jesus was not raised, we have no hope


The Importance of Easter Is In What It Proves

1. Jesus’ resurrection proves he was not just a man

The Bible says, Jesus was declared Son of God by the resurrection from dead (Romans 1:4)

Some have lived after people thought they had died, but no one has raised themselves out of the grave

2. Jesus’ resurrection proves the purpose of his death was accomplished

Death is God’s penalty for sin and Jesus died to pay for that penalty

Jesus’ resurrection shows us there is no penalty left on the sins he died for


How Can We Know If Jesus Really Is Alive?

Jesus’ death was very public so was his resurrection

Over centuries many who tried to disprove it, ended up believing

The great proof God gives is strong, because it comes from the inside

No matter how strongly verified, a proof can be ignored

But Christ proves himself by what he does in us

Let God prove himself to you by what he wants to do in you

How do we receive from Jesus the life he gives?

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved”  (Romans 10:9)

“Confess” – that you are a sinner who needs Christ

“Believe” – in who Jesus is and what he has done


Is Jesus Dead or Alive?

It really does matter, for your eternity and in your life now

Your sin can be forgiven – totally and forever!

Your trust will be in Jesus who is alive and able to help!

Your life will have purpose, because Jesus controls our eternity

It really does matter how we respond to Jesus today

Is he at work in your heart right now? Don’t push him off

Do you want to believe? Ask him to give you faith


“Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking (Jesus) down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”  Mark 15:46

When that large stone sealed off Jesus tomb, it added a sense of finality to his death.  For those who loved Jesus, he was gone!  For those who followed him, it appeared that his ministry and their hope was now over.

What had Jesus’ disciples done while Jesus was taken from them?  Not much.  After Jesus’ arrest, Peter followed “at a distance” and then denied knowing him.  The women who ministered to Jesus, watched the crucifixion “at a distance”.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who belonged to the council that condemned Jesus could not stop what took place.  Afterward Joseph gave Jesus a proper burial, as some might say, it was too little too late.

Jesus’ followers meant well, and a few tried to do something, but they could not stop those events.  I think we can relate to them.  It does not take much to reveal the true extent of our limitations.  Even our best efforts don’t look like much and at times we wonder if our lives actually make a difference.

It is true that God always expects us to respond to each situation in a way that honors him; but God never expects us to be the answer or the solution.  

What needed to take place behind the stone that closed Jesus’ tomb was all of God.  Mankind had absolutely nothing to do with these great events God was accomplishing. 

What a relief!  Jesus disciples did not have to come through in the end, and they did not have to figure out how to make it work.  That was God’s job.

Behind that stone where Jesus body lay in death, God was still being perfect, God was completely in charge. He was still glorious and almighty! 

For behind that stone, sin – Satan – and death would suffer an eternal defeat.  Behind that stone, the hope for humanity came to life.  What took place behind that stone was beyond human reason, beyond our experience and beyond any expectation.

Yet for all the wonder of that moment, God was not being more of what He had always been.  He is perfect, glorious and almighty at all times. 

If you are in Christ, He is always being glorious with you, for you are forever saved. He is always being perfect toward you, for he loves you in the same measure that he loves Christ.  And God’s plan is always prevailing for you, for the day keeps drawing nearer when you will be glorified.

Now that the stone has been rolled away giving us an open display of God’s glory, how does it affect the way we live?  Do we live wholly dependent upon Christ? 

We answer that question by looking to see if there are any areas in which we are still trying to be in charge. If there are, then we are not wholly dependent on Him.

Do we live trusting that Christ has accomplished everything we need?  He will not accomplish everything we want, because that would diminish his always being perfect toward us; since much of what we want is not best. 

How do we know if we are trusting that God has accomplished all we need?  The answer is in our contentment when God does not do what we want.  If we are not content with God’s way of responding, then we really don’t trust that He is accomplishing everything we need.

Let us be freshly committed to live as if God really did know what He was doing behind that stone – and everywhere else.


The body of Jesus who had been dead, walked out of the tomb.

Easter does not celebrate the memory of Jesus, the example of Jesus or the teachings of Jesus. It celebrates that a dead man, who died bearing our sin, is now alive.

Death is the penalty God has assigned to sin; and Jesus went to the cross to carry that penalty for us. When Jesus body began to breathe again, it demonstrated what mere words are powerless to declare – that sin has been conquered, death has been defeated and eternal hope is a physical reality!

Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Do you have confidence that Jesus has taken the guilt of your sin? If not, cry out to Him to be your savior and your Lord.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

If your hope is in Jesus death to pay for your sin, don’t stop there, heap your hopes upon the shoulders of the One who died but now lives!



Mark 16:1-8 ‘Does Jesus touch lives today’

There are those who think talk of Jesus bodily resurrection is foolish

These people prefer what they would consider to be reason and fact. Here are some thoughts for them to consider

No one has disproved Jesus resurrection.  From the standpoint of being reasonable, what happened to Jesus body?

If God exists (creation itself and the fact that mankind has always known there is a God, are strong indicators), it is reasonable that he will hold mankind accountable on his terms.  Have you given thought to this?

We should be able to accept the fact that we are sinners, since we have all sinned thousands of times.  No one but Jesus claims to solve our sin problem.  Only Jesus did something about our sin, by paying the penalty our guilt requires through his death.  If Jesus did come out of the grave, then it proves that he overcame sin, because he died to pay for our sin.

Of course the best way to be certain about Jesus is through personal experience.  Jesus offers that to us:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”  John 6:37

Take Jesus at his word see if Jesus really does live today.  Ask him to forgive your sin and give you new life.

There are those who are confident the resurrection is true

If you believe in Jesus resurrection, then remember it is not the end of the gospel story.

The death and resurrection of Christ is how our story begins.  Those actions by Jesus cleared the way for us to have new life.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christ changes everything!

Is that an accurate assessment of your life?  Is Christ working ain all areas, or are you keeping him to the areas that you deem are safe for him to prod?

The risen Christ is also our ruling king. Jesus purpose is not to be our “get out of hell card”, He came to bring his kingdom to reign over us.  Do we live as if we are under his rule?  Do our purposes reflect the agenda of his kingdom?

Jesus lives so that we can have life!

  • Life is following the One who created and understands life
  • Life is serving the only kingdom that will last
  • Life is to know and enjoy the One who perfectly fulfills and satisfies

You may live as if Jesus died for sin, do you live as if he is alive?

If Christ restores the life that sin ruined, why would we allow ourselves to neglect him in any way?

To live for Christ, is to follow him; which requires us to know him, and fully submit to him.

Has the death and resurrection kindled a new heart for Christ in you?  That is his desire.  Pursue him and you will find he is already waiting for you.