“Death, pandemics, injustice, social breakdown – we again desperately need a stone of hope. And there is no greater hope possible than to believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. . . . If you grasp this great fact of history, then even if you find things going dark, this hope becomes a light for you when all other lights go out.”- Timothy Keller
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”- 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
In the Preface to his latest book, Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter, Timothy Keller cites s specific line from the 1963 ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In that masterpiece, Dr. King said, “With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” King’s image refers to Daniel 2:34-35.
Therefore, in Hope in Times of Fear, Pastor Keller concentrates on the resurrection as a key to understanding the whole Bible. In addition, the resurrection serves as a key to facing all the challenges of life. Hence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the best place to look as we all long and grasp for hope.
Moving on to the Introduction, Timothy Keller notes that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Western cultured espoused a powerful hope in the progressive nature of history. A strong belief existed that each generation of human beings would experience a better world than the previous generation.
However, in less than four decades of the twentieth century, the world passed through these events. Two world wars, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and the Great Depression. Thus, in 1947 W. H. Auden published his book-length poem, The Age of Anxiety. Next came the nuclear-armed Cold War between the West and the communist nations.
Finally, as Pastor Keller discusses in the next blog, optimism seemed to return after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Today’s question: How do you see Christ’s resurrection as a stone of hope? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Profound certainty = biblical hope”