The world is in eager pursuit of perfecting this life by their own means, by creating some form of salvation on their own works and merit. This is the same story for both the religious and the secular. For the religious, their salvation is themselves, their self-righteousness and their works; for the secular, their salvation is their pleasure and pursuit of their own happiness apart from God. But we as believers in Jesus Christ know that everything in this life will inevitably fade, that we will ultimately die, and that we are completely hopeless to save ourselves by anything we can do, pursue any lasting happiness, or provide any meaning for ourselves outside of the Person (relationally) and Work (objectively) of Christ.

Yet, our hope, and our only hope from now until all eternity, is that Christ has risen from the grave, to proclaim to all that He is Lord, God, King, Savior, High Priest, the great I AM, through which all things came into existence, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish forever but have everlasting life in Him. And we know that because He has indeed risen from the grave as the “first fruits” of those He has purchased (meaning He is the first of many who believe in Him to rise from the dead), that we who have trusted Him alone for salvation, will too rise from death to life on the last day when Christ appears to setup His throne. Praise God the Father for sending His Son to redeem those who could not redeem themselves! Praise Christ that He has overcome death by the life that is within Him! Praise the Holy Spirit for no longer dwelling behind the curtain in the Most Holy Place, inaccessible to us, but now He is dwelling within us through faith, and that itself (faith) provided by the atoning sacrifice of Christ to give us the ability, strength, and power to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, the only one who ultimately matters. What a merciful God.

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (ESV)

The Lord has risen from the grave, this is our future hope and is exactly why we can embrace suffering in this life as the molding work of God to conform us to Christ. We should in fact take joy in suffering because it is the mercy of God to make us like Christ, but we can only do this by rejoicing in the hope of the Gospel, that we get God Himself forever. Our hope lies not in this life, but in the next, the future resurrection where we will be forever blessed by Christ Himself, the main hope and gift of the Gospel. What a Savior and God!