1 Peter 1:1-12 Great Expectations

Easter, without question, is the greatest event that has ever happened that is the focal point of all history. Every time you write down a date you are using the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the reference point. When you write down the year 2023, you mean 2,023 years from what? Well, you obviously mean 2,023 years from the very event that we celebrated last week.  The fact remains that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.

But we still have to ask the question—Why is Easter so special? Why do over one billion people celebrate Easter around the world every year? Because the resurrection of Jesus Christ showed that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, because only He could have come back from the dead.

But that still raises the key question for this postmodern society in which we live—"Jesus is alive—so what?" One of the twelve disciples, the Apostle Peter, gives us the answer in 1 Peter 1:3 (NLT). "All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by His boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead." Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have great expectations. The word expectation can also be translated as hope. The NKJV calls this "a living hope." This is not an ordinary hope that we have such as: "I hope to win the lottery" or, "I hope I can make this 80 ft. putt for an eagle. That's just wishful thinking.

A second grade teacher asked her class, "What is the definition of hope?" One little boy said, "Hope is wishing for something you know ain't gonna happen."

Well, we're talking about a living hope that never dies. We're told that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have the most prized possession in the world—hope. Easter gives us hope, indeed great expectations. So what is it we can expect because of Easter?

The first thing I can expect God’s purpose to guide my personal life. "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." (v.3) From the time you were born God had a purpose for your life. God has never made anything without a purpose, whether it is mineral, animal, or vegetable. We now know how nature has a balance to it, so that neither plants nor animals dominate this earth. Each feed off of the other. Each has its own purpose.

Listen to this next statement very carefully. YOU WERE MADE BY GOD, AND YOU WERE MADE FOR GOD. If you don't understand that life will never make any sense.

Your birth was not your parent's idea; it was God's idea because it was God who gave you your parents. You were created with a God-shaped hole in your heart that nothing can fill except a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

That is the very reason God gave us His word, the Bible. The Bible is God's map for your life. It is God's blueprint for your existence. Ps. 138:8 which says, "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me." How is that all tied to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? If God can bring His Son through the tomb of death, God can bring you through the troubles of life, and accomplish His purpose for you.

We can expect God’s power to guard our Spiritual lives.  "Who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (v.5) When you come to realize that Jesus Christ is alive, and that He desires to have a personal relationship with you, it is not just to cleanse you, but to change you so that He can control you.

You see Jesus Christ can do for you no one else can do—He can change you permanently He can change you eternally.

He can change your habits.

He can heal your hurts.

He can help you overcome your hang-ups.

He can give you the power to let go of guilt, to let go of grief, to let go of grudges.

He can give you the power to stop doing what you shouldn't do, and start doing what you should do.

The power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead is available to those of us who have a relationship with Him. Eph. 1:19-20 says, "I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for us who believe Him: This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead." Now notice that God's power is only available to those who have trusted in Jesus Christ. But once you surrender to the person of the resurrection you then receive the power of the resurrection. That is why Paul said in Phil 3:10, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection."  If you ever doubt God's power look at the resurrection because there is no greater power than resurrection power.

2 Tim. 1:12 (NLT) says, "I know the One in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return." When you commit your soul and your eternal destiny to God, He is then responsible to care for it. He is responsible to guard it. He is responsible to protect it, and He does it by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

We can expect God’s presence to give us eternal life.  Verse 4 tells us "For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children. It is kept in heaven for you pure and undefiled beyond the reach of change and decay." Now there are two things we are told in that simple verse.

First, heaven is not for everybody. It says, "God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children." You see, to get into heaven you've got to have a reservation. That reservation can only be made in the name of Jesus Christ.

It amazes me how people think they can do their own thing, live their own lives, go their own way, call their own shots, and then just show up at heaven's door when they die and say, "Okay, God, I'm here, open up." If that's your attitude, you're either incredibly arrogant, or incredibly ignorant. Only God's children are allowed in God's house.

One thing we are told is this: Once you have become a child of God, you are guaranteed to get in. God honors every reservation made in the name of His Son.

In case you are wondering whether or not you will really get what is coming to you; whether you will get this heavenly inheritance, let me just share with you that we have already received part of it. Eph. 1:13-14 says "In Him also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of His glory." That word "guarantee" literally means a down payment. You see when you Jesus Christ is your Lord, that living Lord comes into your life in the person of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit becomes the security deposit on your eternal salvation. It is the guarantee of God's presence which will give me eternal life.

Yes, we have great expectations because of Easter. It is the most important event in human history. It is the one event that gives those who know the risen Lord great expectations, an expectation that the God who raised Jesus from the dead will take us to heaven as well if we will put our trust i