“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. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:3–6).
Hope is as essential to human life as food and water, without hope we lose the will to live. The best this world has to offer is hope in perishing things such as health, prosperity and happiness in this life, none of which last beyond the grave. Worldly hope is dying hope, and even this is in short demand nowadays. However, through the victorious resurrection of Christ we are given the promise of the imperishable inheritance that is eternal life. Christ conquered the grave and the promise of God is that we too will not be held down by death if we are found in him. Our hope in Christ is a living hope! Through this living hope alone can we have peace and even rejoice in these seasons of uncertainty and trials that we find ourselves in presently. May the peace, love, and hope of Christ be with you this week and forevermore.
"Today we call it the holy cross, for Christ has made it so glorious; but at that time it was nothing but the gallows on which the Jews hung and executed Him. This was the altar on which this High Priest performs His sacrifice." - Martin Luther
Jesus our high priest chose as his altar the most gruesome and cruel place of torture for the dregs and criminals of society. Such was his identifying with the most heinous and shameful parts of our fallen, sinful, Adamic nature. He sanctified a symbol of gruesome Roman torture and criminal justice and transformed it into a symbol of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. All this reminds me that in bearing my sin, He satisfies God’s justice for me and transforms my life through his sacrifice.
“Great God, in Christ You call our name and then receive us as Your own, not through some merit, right or claim, but by Your gracious love alone. We strain to glimpse Your mercy seat and find You kneeling at our feet. Then take the towel, and break the bread, and humble us, and call us friends. Suffer and serve till all are fed, and show how grandly love intends to work till all creation sings, to fill all worlds, to crown all things.” -Brian Wren
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13:3-5).
The action of Jesus washing their feet is a demonstration of His love for sinners. And specifically His love for “his own.” This is an example of what Jesus’ love looks like. Humble, kneeling, washing. He cares about the dignity and value of each individual. He doesn’t stand far back with a hose and spray them all, but one by one, personally.