Monday, April 5, 2021

In Between Hope and Despair

 Monday, April 5, 2021

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 ESV 

In Between Hope and Despair
Saturday. The day between Friday and Sunday. The disciples were about what Jesus had told them about His death until Sunday. Until His resurrection. He was crucified on Friday, and then imagine what they were feeling. Loss of hope. Despair. They didn’t understand because this is not how it was supposed to be. They thought the new kingdom that He spoke of was going to be a kingdom they were imagining. A kingdom they dreamed would be earthly – matching their desires and political beliefs. They could not be further from the truth. Jesus spoke of a kingdom that would be built in heaven and nothing to do with earthly desires or beliefs.

After His death, they sat around talking and mourning His wasted life – He said He was going to build a kingdom and now He is gone. They thought that it would never happen now. They were at an in between space, but they didn’t realize it. Because they were mourning what they thought was the death of their Savior, and their beliefs of what was going to happen, they felt hopeless, and despair. This in between place that the disciples were experiencing was a pretty quick one – only one day! When Jesus rose from the dead, all His previous statements began to make sense to them.

Sometimes we go through some desperately long in between places in our lives. If we are not careful, these in between places can get us in real trouble. The in between places are often the road between hope and despair. On this sometimes long road it is easy to get bogged down in despair and lose sight of hope. It is also easy to distract ourselves with things that are not the best for us to take our minds off the where we are. On this road we must be intentional to keep our eyes on Jesus, believe His promises that we know to be true, and focus on hope. The disciples had gotten bogged down in despair for a day…and then Sunday came.

As the disciples viewed all that Jesus said through the lens of the resurrection it brought an amazing new perspective to His words and their lives. They were ready to lay down their lives to follow Him with a new purpose, vision and power. They realized that they had to die to their old ways and begin a whole new life. They understood that there could be no resurrection in their lives until there was a death.

Baptism is an ordinance we observe when someone gives their life to Christ. It symbolizes the death of the old man and being raised to walk as a new creation.  It is the picture of repenting of sin against God and committing to follow Christ in a new life. When our pastors baptize someone, they will say, “Buried With Christ In Baptism And Raised To Walk In Newness Of Life!”

It was a mighty power that brought Jesus out of the grave that day, and this same power is ours. Jesus Christ promises us purpose, meaning, power, and eternal life because of His resurrection. Because of the resurrection, we can have a new perspective, one of hope and not despair, for the past, present, and future. When we are on that long in between road, the perspective of the resurrection will keep our hope alive, and we can live and walk in the power of the resurrection for the rest of our days.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away;
behold, new things have come.
  2 Corinthians 5:17

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