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Hope Requires Evidence

Apr 08, 2009 05:51 AM EDT

Author: Dana Chau, Campus Minister, NorCal Regional Director, Asian American Christian Fellowship, Los Angeles

11 but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. (John 20:11-14, NIV)

We live with different hopes. Hope for acceptance. Hope for an improved marriage or family relationship. Hope for job security or financial independence. Because we see evidence that these desires are fulfilled in others, we believe and work toward their fulfillment in our own life and family. Another common hope of mankind is the hope of immortality. Medical advances work toward fulfillment of this hope. In some ways, legends and religions keep the hope of immortality alive in us. But for immortality to move from a dream to a hope there must be some degree of evidence or confidence of its fulfillment. God gives us that confidence. Christ’s resurrection is that evidence. The stone had been removed not so Jesus could exit, but that we might see He has risen. The strips of linen and burial cloth were left behind not because grave thieves took the time to remove them, but that we might see Christ has risen. The angels asked not out of curiosity why Mary was crying, but that she might ponder the evidence for the hope of resurrection.

The celebration of Easter is the celebration of the hope of immortality. Because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we who trust Him have the same hope for ourselves. We can have the same confidence demonstrated by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:52-54:

“For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ”

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The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior