Easter @ All Saints: Hebrews 11:32-40

This is my first attempt at posting my notes during an All Saints gathering as a blog… bear with me!

April 4th, 2010: Easter Gathering: “What Could Be Better” Hebrews 11:32-40 - Bill Berger

How do we get relief from life’s brutalities?
If you have “this”, you can handle anything life throws at you.

Faith to hold on to: What is it? What is it about? “Heroes” of the faith? Two divisions: v32-35: weakness turned to strength. Climax in v35 - raised back to life. If we end here, we will be lacking because it doesn’t always end happy. If our faith is based on the happy ending, we are doomed. Life has its brutality, even if we “pray hard enough” it cannot be overcome. It is unstable faith. But it doesn’t end in v35. v36: others suffer. Even with their faith and obedience, they suffered, they lost. We want “divine room service” - the happy ending.

How did they keep going? Looking toward a better life. Actually looking toward a better resurrection. Belief that death will be reversed some day, a completeness, Shalom. Having a hope filled with assurances. We can face anything with the faith and hope of the coming resurrection. Not just faith that this life will have happy endings or faith the still produces loss, but a faith that look forward to the resurrection.

We are to rest in God whether living or dying, comforatable or in pain. We have the hope and can handle anything.

v39-40: what gave them the faith? Even if not given what was promised in faith: God provided something better! We are made perfect in Christ’s resurrection! They were great because they were not afraid of death, they had assurance through hope in God.

How can we be so sure? How can we be sure? Certain? We find it impossible to be happy because we don’t know what death will bring. How can we be so sure? The answer: Christianity gives something besides stories; the person, the man, God in the flesh who died and rose again for us.

There is no possible explanition for the Early Church inless the resurrection was true. The evidence supports the claims. The people that witnessed the risen Jesus knew it was reality, would die for their beliefs. They had the assurances.

If we are sure Christ rose, we can say “Jesus lives and so can I.”

Jesus showed up with his wounds still intact. God knows us and knows what our rational minds need. The reality of the nails through Jesus wrecked his followers’ agenda for him. To believe in Jesus will lead to eternity.

What ultimately will defeat evil is that faith that has assurances in Jesus and his resurrection. We can hope for a future that is sure.

Shalom and happy Easter!
He is risen!

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