1 Peter 1:3-5
A Living Hope…
In our first look at Peter’s letters, he begins by defining our faith:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.” -1 Peter 1:3-5, NAB
In the most beautiful way, Peter describes the central theme and hope of our faith. Through Christ’s death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, we have a living hope for a new life in heaven. The most important aspect of that statement is that Jesus is our living hope, not simply the hope of the early Christians. Jesus lives and reigns today, and we can find hope today, just as the early Christians did, in the saving power of the cross.
Over the centuries, there have been many people who tried to tear down the Christian faith. They would say that Jesus was just a man, the resurrection never really happened, the whole thing was a hoax, and a number of other lies. Some say that Jesus was just a man, a prophet, but no more. But, here in this vese, Peter states faithfully that Christ died and was risen. He tells us that Christ came to redeem us so that we may one day be with the Father in heaven.
For Peter to publicly pronounce this, he was putting his life in jeopardy. His missionary work eventually led to his martyrdom. If Peter did not feel that these things were true, would he really be willing to give his life for such a cause? If he had not truly seen Jesus after His resurrection, would Peter have spent the rest of his life spreading the Gospel? Would you be willing to devote your life, and eventually give it up, for the sake of a story that you know not to be true?
Peter believed in Christ so much that, as legend has it, he felt unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Christ. Instead, the legend tells us that Peter chose to be crucified upside down. What an amazing gesture! Even when giving up his life, Peter never doubted the true glory of the Lord.
Do you have your doubts? Would you be willing to sacrifice everything in the name of Christ? Even though Peter stumbled from time to time, when the time came, he was willing to give it all. And in your life, you may stumble from time to time as well, but when your time comes, what will you do?