3Blessed 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, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Saint Peter invites everyone who believes to join in a hymn of praise to God for blessing us “according to His great mercy”— that is according to His unmerited kindness and goodness He has showered on us. The Apostle is saying that God’s elect, the people “He has caused to be born again,” have received the gift of “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” (3-4). Our text captures the message of Easter: Rebirth and Hope.
Dr. Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in this world, is done by hope.” Basically, people hope for what makes them happy. Now that spring has arrived, we hope for rain, and an abundant harvest. Human wisdom tells us that our hope should have a goal to keep it motivated. Does your goal’s plan of action keep with the law of the land? More importantly does it abide by God’s Law? Does your plan of action prioritize motivation by greed, self-love, pride, power, fame, lust? Now ask yourself, “Will the result of my pursuit keep me emotionally happy?”
The living hope St. Peter is describing has as its goal “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading – kept in heaven for [us]” (4). An inheritance makes us think of a lawyer reading the last will and testament of a deceased family member. Earthly inheritances are not always a blessing. Since the property is not earned, it often causes family divisions because of disappointment and jealousy. Unless the recipients are frugal, the money is spent in a hurry; like Jesus’ best-known parable of the Prodigal Son, who, as the saying goes, blew his inheritance on wine, women, and song (cf. Luke 15:11ff).
Because of the events of Good Friday with Jesus’ death on the cross, His rest in the tomb, His descent to preach to the souls in hell, and His triumphant rising from the dead on the third day, you, dear saints, have “obtained the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (9). This is nothing less than the “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,” inheritance, guarded and kept in heaven and is “ready to be revealed in the last time” when “all sons of God thought faith in Christ Jesus” (cf. Galatians 3:26) will “ rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” (8) forever and ever.
Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM
Reverend Steve Zandstra