Handcuffed hands raised in the air as the chain connecting the cuffs breaks, with a christian cross in the background.

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 8

You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

This post is about hope.

Hope because of the letter s. The passage says that Jesus delivers us, not delivered us, that s is very important because it puts our deliverance into the present.

This is a shock to me. Like the good little evangelical that I am, I was always taught that the cross of Jesus was everything. We even have songs that say “The cross has said it all.” I would still hold by that, but it looks like I was missing a very important point about the power of the resurrection and the return of Jesus. It is because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead that he can deliver us in the present time. We are saved from our sins and from the power of sin by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, but we are given new life in the power of Jesus’ being raised.

Jesus has been raised, and so we also shall be raised at the end of the age when Jesus returns, that is the hope of Christians. Death is not the end, death does not have the final word.

These last 16 years I have questioned everything about my faith since being disabled in a horrific accident. I came to realise that the things some Christians say, things I also said, are shallow and meaningless. Worse than that some blame the victims claiming that if you are not healed it is your fault. Terrible.

Jesus delivers me from me

Despite this, this blog post is about hope for two reasons. That Christ is returning gives us hope. Christ’s resurrection shows us that death is not the end. But there is hope in the present age too. Jesus walks with us in our difficult times. The valley of the shadow of death is a real experience of being totally alone and forgotten that I have experienced. If when there is nothing to say I repeat the name of Jesus I can feel peace in my situation that carries through into other things I do. I’m not perfect, sometimes my frustrations overwhelm me, I can snap at people when it is not their fault, just me venting. But if I let Jesus in, just quietly repeating his name is enough; there comes a silence. I can hear him say, “My grace is enough for you.” Jesus delivers me from me.

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