Current events in Uvalde and Tulsa Oklahoma fill us with stories of hatred. In our society today hate wants center stage. But for Christians, we are not filled with hate, but with hope. We know that hatred will not have the final word, but that in the end God will have the final victory over all hatred in this world.
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross gives us assurance that the victory is already won, that Jesus died to destroy the power of hatred. Jesus paid the penalty God demands for hatred; death must be the penalty for all sin. And all mankind has sinned and deserved God’s judgment, but Jesus paid that penalty for us. He died that we might be forgiven and might receive God’s assurance that there is life with him for all who believe this and trust in Jesus’ death for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.
This past week the Christian Church celebrated Christ’s ascension into heaven. He ascended, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, not resting from his work on Earth, but he is preparing a place for us in his eternal kingdom. And he assures us that he is coming again to gather us together with him in his kingdom where we will live forever.
“..this hope gives us peace and contentment..”
- Richard Snyder
This is God’s promise to us, his believers. And this promise gives us hope. Hope that the not yet seen will be seen when he comes again. Christ’s ascension gives us hope that the day will come when we also will ascend to see him in his kingdom and to live with him forever.
In the meantime we continue to live in this world, a world full of hatred, a world full of trouble, where we just hope to make it to the weekend when we can relax. Romans 8:18ff: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” And in Acts 1:11: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
The day will come when we die and are buried. But we have God’s promise that we will not remain in the grave. Jesus ascended into heaven, and we have his promise that as we see him ascended into heaven we will also see he descend from heaven to raise us from the grave to live with him forever.
Hatred may have power in the here and now, but it will not be victorious in the future when God ends this sinful world and replaces it with the creation of the new world in which we will live in his perfect presence. For the present we live with hope in the promise that this time will come according to God’s time line. And this hope gives us peace and contentment despite the hatreds of this present world.