“When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’
‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’”
~1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NRSV).
Fighting words? Of course they are! This is the victory of the Lord.
Hope comes in at least two major forms. The first is the hope we need to survive life spiritually here whilst we stay on this earth. The second hope is the eternal hope of crushing the physical death as we enter the nearest reaches of heaven. Often Christians utilise the second hope to buoy the hope for life today.
And that’s the design of the eternal hope; that we know that no fear can overcome hope, not ultimately.
Therefore, we can know that hope—both forms—has a certain serene power that appears effortless. It wrangles invisibly with evil and comes out unscarred, always.
The Purity of Hope
As the discussion proceeds we have to entertain the idea that hope is purer than the driven snow. Hope is the God-aspect. It comes from God, and as far as virtue is concerned it’s the activator of so many very good things that breed life within us.
Hope—like all virtue—sits in a realm myriad higher than the worldly default. God owns it and its purity is so hard for the ungodly to understand. Yet, they too are captivated by it. No one can fault it. Indeed, often we find the world using it without giving credit to its source. They even have the audacity to claim the invention of it.
But hope, like all virtue, is never offended. It cannot sink to depths.
The Truth of Our Hope
As the Apostle Paul has alluded to above, we have this hope that laughs respectfully at death. God has the final word and we have hope because of that.
But we can easily transpose this eternal hope into the day too.
Whenever we discuss the physical death we can also begin to entertain similar concepts regarding the spiritual death—which is caused by sin.
The truth of our daily hope today is that each time we crush our sin—not giving into the temptation of it—we enjoy the sight of seeing that spiritual death swallowed whole in the victory of Spiritual life. The sting of the spiritual death is nullified and made, for the time, docile.
The very sight of this from our hearts viewpoint ushers much joy which completes our hope, certainly for that moment, and as certainly for the immediate future our hope too is buoyed.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.