Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3–5 (ESV)
Father God, you have left simply no room for hopelessness or despair in the lives of your children.
1. You have caused us to be born again. We were formally spiritual zombies. Feeding on ourselves and one another in self-righteous me-worship. We had no perceptivity for bowing the knee to your goodness and righteousness or to serve someone else without ulterior self-pleasing motives. You caused us to come alive a second time. Isn’t this what we call resurrection? Only our previous life was so lacking in life, we fail to see it as a return to life but instead the start of true life—we are reborn.
2. Why did you cause our rebirth? According to your great propitiating mercy. There is no bottom to that well of mercy. Our graves were so deep that surely you could not reach to vivify us, but your great mercy went deeper still. You will stop at nothing to spread your name into the darkest corners of your creation.
3. What were we born into? A living hope. Dead men walking no more, you introduced us to hope that does not put to shame, hope that does not disappoint. This hope is alive; it is vibrant, effectual, and conclusive. We do not gamble our futures on an over-promise-under-deliver promise, but a surety forged in granite and sealed in blood.
4. How did you accomplish it? Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Our hopelessness was real; not the mere psychological quandary of the confused, but the death-grip of sin on a ruined conscience. We were dead. No power on earth can break that spell. No mother’s tear or medical miracle can unlock that vice. What can wake the dead? Nothing but life-imparting union with a dead man rising. Craig, come forth! Shake off your grave clothes.
5. To what have you caused us to live? To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. The temporary thrill-seekers have been pledged eternal joy. To receive imperishable after feasting on decay, to experience pure ecstasy after binging on tainted, rotted fruit, to walk into forever after only knowing one-night stands—our capacity to comprehend the magnitude of contrast will take eternity to convey.
6. What if…? Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Our past haunts us. We cower at the onslaught of death which calls us back to its baubles. We fear that resurrection is powerful to bring to life, but not powerful to carry through life. Can the dead man raised really walk through the valley of the shadows? Yes, your power vivifies and it also guards. Our surety stands. We are kept for the grand revealing of the coronation of Christ as Savior of His regenerated, adopted ones.