December 26, 2009
The Hope That Banishes Hopelessness
READ: Philippians 2:5-11
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Galatians 6:14
When atheistic communism was a world-menacing power, it proclaimed that there is no God and that faith in any future life is a deceptive illusion. Leonid Brezhnev had been the Soviet dictator, the embodiment of Marxist unbelief. But something happened at his funeral that contradicted atheism. George H. W. Bush, then vice president of the US, was the country’s official representative at the solemn, formal ceremony.
He reported that while the casket was still open, Brezhnev’s widow stared motionless at her husband’s body. And just before the soldiers were about to close the lid, she reached inside and made the sign of the cross over his chest. What a desperate and significant gesture! That widow evidently hoped that what her husband had vehemently denied might somehow be true.
Thankfully, we can have hope beyond this earthly life! All we need to do is embrace by faith the saving message of the cross: Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we might live eternally with Him. Do you believe? Then join with the apostle Paul in affirming that “we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:10). — Vernon C. Grounds
The cross is my hope for eternity—
No merit have I of my own;
The shed blood of Christ my only plea—
My trust is in Jesus alone. —Christiansen
Calvary’s cross is the only bridge to eternal life.