Easter: The victory of hope

“I feel weak and angry.  It seems hopeless”.

A young woman speaking during the candle-light vigil held after the tragic death of Reza Barati on Manus Island.  She said what so many of us feel when faced with an injustice.  We ask, “Can anything be done?”

We can channel our outrage, for sure.  We can muster our strength as best we can.  But I want to express more than that.  I cannot be content with simply “I hope it will get better.  I hope justice will come.”  But hope demands more, much more. Hope demands a solid basis.  

In Jesus Christ, in his death and resurrection, we have so much more: we have the victory of hope.

Jesus faced the depths of human cruelty and injustice.  He plunged those depths for love, losing his life.  But it was not in vain.  On the third day he was raised to life.

Easter celebrates and refreshes my faith in Christ’s victory over death and evil.  His victory is not just a victory for which I hope – it is a victory which gives me hope: a personal hope. 

It is a great comfort to know that there is victory over death. Therefore we can live with the complexities and cruelties of life in the sure hope of eternal life.

Christ’s resurrection gives me a motivating hope in the present.  It stimulates generosity and compassion and forgiveness.  How can it not do so when it sheds an eternal perspective on the petty winds and waves of our society?

Christ’s resurrection gives me a hope for the future.  Ultimately I look towards the return of the risen Jesus who will bring justice and restore life in its fullness.

Because of Jesus, I can do more than just say, “I hope our work will bear fruit”. Rather, I say, “I have hope; therefore I work for life in its fullness.”

I exclaim with the Apostle Peter, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.

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