Letters To My Son (Week 2) - Jesus Is Our Hope
Jesus is Our Hope
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Bad stuff happens. It takes little life experience to understand that something isn’t right with this world. There’s pain, suffering, hurt, injustice, and death - it’s messed up. Nobody likes it but everyone knows the world has a tremendous amount of problems. It had troubles yesterday, there were more today, and unless something drastic happens, it will continue tomorrow too.
Living in a messed up world can be super frustrating. It’s a headache because when things aren’t right we’re the ones who have to deal with it. This is a real dilemma for us because even our best efforts aren’t enough to overcome all of this world’s issues. We may say we want what’s good, at times we even work hard for it, but the good we do never seems to last. This is one of the biggest reasons having faith in something beyond this world is important. We can’t always change how bad this world gets, but we don’t have to live in it without hope.
The Bible teaches that the world is like this because it's broken. In other words, this damaged world wasn’t always like this. We’re told in the Bible that before the world was broken there was no pain, suffering, hurt, injustice, or even death - it worked perfectly. There were no problems. When God made the world it was a paradise. If only we could get things running like that again, right? It’s sad the world didn’t stay that way. What went wrong? If something is broken there’s always a reason.
We’re taught in the Bible that people chose to disobey God and that’s what broke the paradise He created. Sin ruined everything and altered God’s creation into what it is today. That all being said, we can’t help but wonder a few things. Can it all be fixed? Could paradise be restored or will creation forever be broken? Can thousands of years of sinning, with all of its ugly consequences, be undone? Christians have faith that everything will go back to the way it was before there was sin.
We believe God is like a good father who never stops loving his children no matter what they do. When His children ruined what He had made, God did not abandon them. Like any good parent He let them know what they did was wrong. Their choices resulted in severe consequences, but God’s love for them had no end. He was so gracious that He decided to redeem them in their sin and fix what they had broken. This redemption is at the center of everything a christian believes.
We believe God put on flesh and entered His own creation to redeem His children. Jesus is God in the flesh. When Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from a virgin as a baby, that’s how God entered His creation. Jesus was completely God but at the same time, He was completely man. Jesus is the Creator who entered His creation in a special way because He was on a mission to redeem.
Jesus did so many wonderful things in His life! As a matter of fact, the Bible says that “were every one of them written… the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25). However, one of the most impressive things about Jesus is what he didn’t do — He never sinned. In other words, unlike the rest of us, Jesus didn’t contribute to the problem that ruined the world.
In His life, Jesus lived among people who had a special hope in God. Their hope was that God would one day send a savior to rescue them from all of their troubles and restore paradise. However, sin had caused people to drift so far away from God that when Jesus came to them, many didn’t recognize that He was that savior. There were countless people who adored the ministry and teachings of Jesus, but there were also groups who hated Him. Jesus was revered as the Son of God by some, but mocked as a blasphemer and imposter by others. The hatred of those who opposed Jesus developed into a plot to kill Him and end His ministry forever. Their plan to kill Jesus worked. Jesus was crucified on a cross, murdered by the ones He came to save, His very own creation. It doesn’t seem fair, but even though Jesus never sinned He still experienced the pain, suffering, hurt, injustice, and death that sin caused.
Here’s what Christians understand about the execution of Jesus, it was part of that plan to redeem. Before Jesus died on the cross He made a profound statement about God’s plan. He said, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18). Jesus knew His death was part of what He came to do.
After Jesus died he was buried in a tomb, and within three days He resurrected back to life just like He said He would. He rose again and lived among the very people who watched Him die. For forty days He taught and assured His followers that His mission to redeem creation was going according to plan. He then instructed His disciples to tell the world what He had done. When Jesus finished teaching them He ascended into heaven and returned, in the flesh, to where He was before He entered creation.
Jesus left his followers with the gift of hope. They have faith that one day He will return and bring to completion the fix that His life, death, and resurrection secured. Jesus came so that He could show them that a new life, one without the consequences sin, was coming. When Jesus returns He will rid the world of all pain, suffering, hurt, injustice, and even death. Things will go back to the way they were created to be — Paradise will be restored.
Discussion questions for BOTH to answer.
What stuck out to you?
Why do you think man would choose to disobey God?
How can sin cause so much damage?
What kind of damage has sin caused in your life?
Do you believe mankind could fix the world without God? Why or why not?
What do you think it says about God that He chose to fix a broken world?
What do you think it will be like to live without sin?
Passages for further study:
John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:1-4, Revelation 21:1-4
Week 3 - Jesus Saves Us - 4/8/20
Week 4 - Jesus Changes Us - 4/15/20
Week 5 - This Is How We Know - 4/22/20