O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7)
The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus in 2020 had many looking for a hope in life and death. Or more likely, many desired a hope to spare them from death. That all must die, no sane man can be in dispute, but a so-called “premature death” is what we long to avoid. If we die, we long to do so old and gray. So the world searched to find a cure, a vaccine to be discovered, or hoped for it to pass from among us like a whimper.
Many live under a lifelong slavery to the fear of death, and pandemics stir up the dread. And many should fear it. All roads do not lead to eternal life; there is a narrow way and few there are who find it. So when that inescapable enemy feels closer than expected, many wonder — perhaps for the first time — where can I place my hope for life and death? When a neighbor or a friend asks, do we have one word ready to spring from our lips that makes all the difference: Christ?
Our Final Hope
Christ alone. Christ alone is our great hope in life death.
There is no other name by which men, women, and children can be saved. Christ alone — not the endless washing of hands, not a medicinal cure, not social distancing — he is the “blessed hope” that we wait for our whole lives. Christians place all our eggs in one basket: if he has not been raised from the dead, we of all people are most to be pitied.
He is the one we live for. He is the one we die for. He is the one who has been raised from the dead to prove that he is above all, trustworthy with that possession more precious than all the world has to offer: our souls. So whether we live or whether we die, Christ is our hope.
Truth to Calm the Troubled Soul
God is good. God is good to those who are in Christ.
When we are tempted to despair, we have but to look at our good God. In every situation, like the sun that still shines even when dark clouds block its rays, God is still good. Satan is busy to make us doubt this. He impugned God’s motives from the very beginning, telling the first couple that God was keeping them from the forbidden fruit because he didn’t want them to be like him. The sinless woman believed the serpent’s lie and ate, and her husband followed suit. They did not trust the goodness of God.
So where are we to look to make certain he is good?
Where is his grace and goodness known? In our great Redeemer’s blood.
When viruses or tragedies or conflicts tempt us to distrust our King, we have a particular place to look: his cross. There he proves his goodness beyond question. There he hangs, the spotless one, the Son of God, the creator of the world — there he dies, outside the walls of Jerusalem, flanked by two criminals, all for the sins of his people. He made our plight his own. He became sin, who knew no sin, that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. And he rose in triumph, proving that our sins are forgiven in him.
What then Shall We Sing?
Christ, he lives; Christ, he lives!
Our great hope, when each of us faces his day to die, is the living Christ. No other hope has defeated the grave. No other hope springs eternal. No other hope shall never die again. No other hope reigns over sin and death and sits at the right hand of God in glory.
So where is your hope in the troubles you face? Can you say with the psalmist, “O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you” (Psalm 39:7)? Whether your days are going smoothly, or the angel of death is knocking at your door, look to Christ. Hope in Christ. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea (Psalm 46:1–3).
Christ alone is our hope in life and death.