Peter begins to share with the audience of this Epistle his focus in this first section verses 3-12 deals with the theme of hope for eternal life. However, the first thing we see is not a quick explanation of this process but Peter begins by glorifying the Creator who through His mercy has made a way of redemption for us. Depending on the translation of scripture you are using this may read a little differently.
“3 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,” 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
For me there are two key words in this verse that I want to focus on they are Mercy and Hope. You see in our world today these are often in short supply. However, Peter in this passage tells us that God has given them both to us in a great measure through the resurrection of His son Jesus. I often feel as though we miss this part of the salvation story mainly because we do not understand the concept of mercy well.
Mercy is a main theme throughout the scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments. However, it has some different meanings in both and carries a different message to the reader, Mercy is most often defined in the Old Testament as the expression of God’s loyalty and devotion to the covenant agreement He had with Israeli. It was centered on their ability and willingness to maintain the covenant. While in this New Testament passage we understand that the use of the word Mercy represents compassion, kindness or even pity for someone. Showing mercy is a critical part of the Christian life and often is one of the reasons we fail to live out our witness in front of the world. It comes from the fact that we fail to recognize the mercy we have received and pass it on to others. I am guilty of this myself so don’t take it to hard we all do it. It does however not make it right or acceptable to God.
The other point that Peter emphasize is that through this compassionate mercy we are given a Hope that is greater than all the trails we will face. No matter your lot in life or what problems may come your way. Because God was merciful and had compassion on his creation he has made a way of salvation for those who will believe upon His Son Jesus. If we will accept Him as our Lord and savior we will one day experience our own resurrection from the dead.
To be honest I there I believe that this is a two part promise when we talk about the resurrection we often think about when Jesus will return and all the dead will rise as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:52:
“52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52 (ESV)
However, the day that you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior you have moved from death into life. That is a form of resurrection. Before you accepted Christ you were dead and of no use to the kingdom of God but now you are made a new creation and have a purpose in the world. One of the definitions of resurrection, “is a rising again, as from decay and disuse” are you prepared to be used by God today if so than you have experienced a form of resurrection. After all you were created with a purpose but to fully be used in that purpose you must have a life changing soul saving relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have that then you can have hope in every situation you face. God’ great Mercy has supplied every believer with an unending supply of hope for today and for the future. Be blessed today as you walk in the light of God’s Word.