Okay – I’m inviting some pushback here. I confess to dissatisfaction with the word “hope” engendered by the Easter story. Notions of resurrection, to my understanding, point to a state that is beyond hope – let’s try “certainty!” Hope points to something yet to be realised; certainty points to a reality that already exists. The witness of the first Easter accounts and their enaction in the early Easter community of the Acts of the Apostles declare certainty.
An amazing assertion for me, who for many years has defended the legacy of so-called Doubting Thomas and all his cohorts who play devil’s advocate and toy with hope versus despair. On my umpteenth reading of Thomas’ story in John’s Gospel, it hits me that his eventual faith declaration is based on a personal testimonial certainty, not a mere hope.
Yes, blessed are those who believe without having seen a physical presence of the Risen Christ. And blessed are those whose faith is nevertheless based in certainty. And blessed be those whose faith, right now, is best defined in notions of hope.
3 thoughts on “The Short-change of Resurrection Hope”
Yes I totally concur with your thoughts on HOPE! It has, for many years been a word I choose not to use when referring to the gospel and how its narrative determines my position in the kingdom and my future!
Hope conjures up thoughts of chance – possibly may happen and then again may not.. Almost like the toss of a coin or roll of the dice!
No, my future is CERTAIN simply due to the sacrificial death of Christ and His resurrection power which has brought me into a relationship with the living God.
God doesn’t operate in “May be!” He is a God of CERTAINTY!
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Thanks, Cliff. Of course, hope has its place. Paul commended it in 1 Corinthians 13 along with “faith” and “love.” “Hope” also heralds the Advent season. For the core climax of the Christian story, however, we look for the sure foundation. “And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever.” 1 Cor 15:17 (The Message). Hope, then, is based on certainty.
I too concur, great piece Denis.
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