“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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. ” 1 Peter 1:3-4
Occasionally I will have the news on as I am preparing to leave the house and start the day. On this particularly morning, I sort of half-listened to an elected official express, with not a little enthusiasm, the arrival of the new vaccine for COVID-19. But then he said something that sort of caught my undivided attention. He described the vaccine as being “more than a vaccine, but a shot of hope in the world“. I found the statement to be quite remarkable. “More than a vaccine“.
I would think we can all rejoice over the news of a potential solution to the present pandemic. In more recent times, I have been pointedly reminded of the very real danger the corona virus presents as relatives and persons I am close to are at this current moment struggling with this illness. As I am sure countless others are also doing, I continue to pray for healing and deliverance from this pandemic that has enacted untold damage physically, emotionally and psychologically upon many, many people.
And yet, while we rejoice with the coming of a vaccine that can potentially save millions of precious lives, the words of the government official nevertheless forces me to keep this wonderful development in a purely Christian, eternal perspective. You see, while a vaccine certainly provides promise for our well being in this life, it is can never amount to the infinitely greater hope found through faith in Jesus Christ.
Peter in the above passage describes the quality of the true Christian’s hope as ‘living’. That is to say it is an abiding, unchanging hope. Living hope stands in stark contrast with an unliving, temporal hope—one subjected to external, changing circumstances. While this kind of hope may offer some real and tangible joy, it is nevertheless a false hope in the sense that it is temporal and short-sighted and short-lived—non-lasting.
In contrast, the hope of the true believer is energized by the inextinguishable resurrected life of Jesus Christ, producing within the very soul a subjective mindset of expectancy towards a good waiting for us beyond this present life– one that is “imperishable, undefiled, unfading”.
A vaccine may preserve physically life. But only faith in Christ can assure life eternal.
Therefore, may we never fail to lose God’s clear and right perspective, regardless of the circumstances we are facing in life. The hopes of this world can never truly compete with the hope Christ gives. For His hope is truly the only hope that is indeed more than a vaccine!