A Good Hope
Scheduled for July 20
as has happened to me, you have been summonsed for jury duty, you may have the
privilege of serving on a trial jury. At the beginning of this proceeding, the
judge (or some videotape) will explain the difference between evidence and
proof. Proof is conclusive; no doubt remains. Evidence is something which
points to a conclusion but which, in itself, is not proof.
most of us find it absolutely necessary to pass through our daily lives working
on evidence. We cannot prove the job will be there tomorrow -- but we
have good evidence, and so we continue working in the hope of a
paycheck. The Christian faith works the same way. It is based on evidence,
which is what you would expect of the truth. It is not based on proof. If it
were, there could be no doubt; if doubt were not possible, faith would be
unnecessary. And without faith it is impossible to please God.
our daily Christian walk, then, we turn the evidence of Christ (which is very
solid) into the working, day to day principle that we call hope. That
trusting in the evidence, and the Lord it presents, is faith. Hope is based on
faith, and hope then becomes the working principle of our lives -- or should so
Let me give you a walking example. I have faith that my wife is faithful to
me. There’s a lot of evidence for that (starting with the fact she’s put up
with me for so long). But there is no way I could prove that she’s faithful;
indeed, even to make the attempt would so wound her that it would damage our
relationship. So I take the evidence I have, turn it into practical hope, and
go through life blithely assuming her fidelity. Hope becomes the ground work
hope is in the Resurrection. At the Lord’s Supper, we celebrate the sacrifice
our Lord made at Calvary. Among many other meanings is this: our Lord was
human, just as we are. He too had to have faith in His Father, for He, like
us, faced the grave. Facing it, He suffered and died -- and was raised from
the dead by the power of the Spirit. It is the central fact of Christianity,
and of history: Jesus rose.
Resurrection is our evidence. From that evidence we should draw the conclusion
stated so long ago in the New Testament:
Th 4:14 NIV) We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that
God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
do we? Do we believe the resurrection of the dead, or is it a comforting fairy
tale for preachers to use at funeral services? After all, he’s been gone a
time I take Communion, I proclaim the Lord’s death -- until He comes.
To take Communion is to state your hope in the resurrection. To state it means
you will act on it. Are you stating it on Sunday, and denying it in the
hospital corridors on Monday? Examine yourself well; you do not know when He