God as the source of hope – Day 15
Hope for eternal glory
“If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Here Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about the resurrection. Some of the Corinthians were saying that the dead would not be raised to life.
If this is true, then we as Christians are truly deceived. Committing one’s life to Christ is taking a decision to lead a life that will glorify God. If there is nothing after death, no home to go to, no God welcoming us, then the Christian is indeed in a pitiable state. But this is not the case.
In Old Testament times up to the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem, the High Priest would carry out a special ritual during Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
He would take two goats and present them at the door of the Tabernacle. By casting lots, the one goat would be chosen for the Lord and sacrificed. Its blood would be sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.
The other goat would be “for Azazel” – the scapegoat. The High Priest, after confessing the sins of the Israelites to God, would figuratively place the sins on its head. This goat would then be chased into the wilderness to perish.
The blood of the Lord’s goat atoned for the sins of the Israelites and the “Azazel” goat took the sins away.
Jesus Christ, our High Priest, is the Lamb of God who, through his sacrificial death on the cross, atoned with his blood for our sins and put us right with God.
Paul did not leave the Corinthians in any doubt about the resurrection: “But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
That guarantee is valid for all who die in Christ. We will pass from death to glory. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!