In a groaning world, Christians have an undying hope, for not even the grave can stop our Redeemer from making all things new. In this brief clip, Gabe Fluhrer reveals how the resurrection of Christ secures our hope in the promised new creation.
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And what the resurrection of Christ does is resurrect hope in our lives. And how does that happen? Let’s trace it out from the Scriptures from 2 Corinthians 5, as Paul instructs us on our hope. Verse 1: “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” Here’s what he’s saying to us. There’s a hope of new creation that we find in the gospel of resurrection, the hope of new creation. Did you notice that pregnant language again? “That we might be further clothed.” What does Paul have in mind? Nakedness, of course. But that’s not just not having any clothes on. It’s a metaphor, isn’t it? Because when mankind recognized he was naked, when Adam saw that he didn’t have clothes on, it’s because sin had entered the world. It’s because shame became a reality to him and his wife that they’d never known before. And therefore, ever since, metaphorically Paul says to us, mankind has been searching for clothing. They’ve been searching for the way that death may be swallowed up by life. I was reading Yuval Harari, who’s written a book called Homo Deus, “Man the God” or “The God Man.” He also wrote a book called Homo Sapiens, a history of the human race. He’s a trans-humanist. This is a movement that believes that man will become some kind of hybrid of man and machine. And the ultimate goal of it all—he says this at the outset of Homo Deus—he says, “Let’s take stock of where we are and see what the ultimate goal is.” And he says mankind has defeated its three great enemies, by and large: Famine, disease, and warfare. He says, sure there’s war, sure there’s famine, sure there’s diseases, but nothing like the bubonic plague, nothing like the World Wars. We’re getting past that; we’re getting better. And the ultimate goal, he says, is that what we’ll see is death itself will be defeated by mankind’s technology. My friends, if you’re looking where the Tower of Babel is being built today, look no further than the modern technological industry. And his point is this: We have hope in our technology, in our ability as man the “homo deus,” the god. And what use would it be for gods to be humble, my friends? Why would you come to any other conclusion if that’s what you believe about the world? But here’s what Paul says: That kind of clothing will never work. Because death is not just something natural, which is the underlying assumption of Harari’s argument—because of evolutionary processes, death is natural. No, death is part of the fall, as we’ve seen. It’s a curse that only is overcome when God clothes us, as it were. And once again it’s all of grace. Just think about Adam and Eve as God kills animals to cover them and showing them thereby that atonement has to be made by blood. “And I will make it,” God’s says to them. And then Paul picks up on that and says, “Yes, and resurrection reminds us—the resurrection of Christ, rather—reminds us that one day all of our nakedness will be covered, that we will come into full possession of all that we were meant to be as a redeemed humanity in our heavenly dwelling. And he says, “In this tent we groan, and we’re burdened.” Again, what a perfect description of daily life: groaning and being burdened. But he says this groaning and burdening is unto something. We’re groaning and burdening because we caught a glimpse of how good what’s coming really is. Having caught that glimpse, he says, we want it so badly. He says the same thing in Romans 8: “The whole creation is groaning until now.” And this groan is a resurrection groan; it’s a groan for life to the uttermost, life that is encapsulated in the event of Christ’s resurrection. That is the first episode which will “to be continued” in our resurrection. And as we groan and long for that, he says, what we’re asking for, what we’re longing for, is that death might be swallowed up by that which is truly life.