The foundation for our hope – 7 April 2022
By Ewald Schmidt
When we go through trials and tribulations, we want to be sure of the foundation we are building upon. The first readers of Peter’s letter had suffered greatly for their faith in Jesus as Lord of their lives. It was only human to have existential questions in times like those. They would have wondered whether they were on the right track, if it was worth the effort to follow Jesus when the going got so tough.
Peter assured them that even the angels had the desire to know more about God’s grace to humans. He assured them that their faith was built on the Word that stood the test of time. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was not something new, recently conceived by some person. Over centuries, the prophets intently searched the message of God’s grace and salvation. They pondered how God had revealed himself to us, and how he had enabled us to know him. What is expected of us to live in a relationship with God?
In the Old Testament, the expectation of godly intervention, in the form of the Messiah, started to beat in the hearts of believers. This expectation grew stronger in the time of the Babylonian exile, when believers lost everything – their land, freedom, and the temple where they worshipped God. They began to yearn for God to send Someone, from the line of David, who would free them and restore their land. They were looking for a worldly, political answer to their loss of freedom. But the heart of the gospel, says Peter, is a Messiah who would suffer and die to set his people free. He would take the sin and brokenness of people upon him, and pay for it all on the cross with his blood. After his suffering, he would be glorified, by his resurrection and his ascension to take back his place of glory at the throne of the Father. This is the Gospel that sets us free – we were redeemed by the suffering of Christ, we will be glorified through faith in him alone.
The Holy Spirit had inspired the prophets to write about the coming Christ, says Peter. The same Spirit of Christ works in the readers of the Word today, sharing the gospel of salvation in our hearts. The message of the gospel is the love of Jesus, suffering for us, afterwards being glorified to open the way for us so that we can be with him at the throne of his Father. This gives us hope to endure anything that life may throw at us.
Prayer: Thank you, Spirit of Christ, that you have inspired the prophets to write the Word of God. Thank you that you help me to understand the love of Christ, to accept him as my Saviour. Thank you that you lead me to follow him as Lord, and that you empower me to endure all the way to the Father’s throne. Amen