The Past Gives Believers Hope For the Future

The sound of engines slowly roused the three airmen sloshing about the Pacific Ocean on the morning of May 27, 1943.  After a day o415th_Bombardment_Squadron_-_B-24_Liberatorn the open sea, the airmen who had miraculously survived their planes crash landing once again had hope. As they looked towards the sky on that moderately cloudy morning, they saw a B-24 flying high above them. Louis Zamperini, grabbed the crew’s flare gun, braced himself against the back of the rubber raft, and fired. The flare went up, arched, burst into a greenish hue, and then slowly flamed out. But the plane above didn’t change course. Soon it disappeared. The the sound of the engines faded into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The three men clinging to the two 6’ long rubber rafts now almost faced certain death.  They had no compass, map, or method of propulsion.

The searches were over. The following day, the U.S. War department would declare all 11 men on Louis’ plane dead. For forty-seven days the Louis and Phil would float aimless about the Pacific Ocean. Mac, the tail gunner, died from exhausting after about two weeks adrift.

But Louie and Phil kept fighting. Yet, things never got easier. They had to fend off shark attacks with their fist. They had to contend with extreme hunger and thirst. They had to bail the water out of their boat for hours while they were tossed about by a typhoon. Each day seemingly only brought more trouble, more disappointment, and more hardship for the men. But they kept going because they remembered their families. Specifically, Louie would describe in-detail his mother’s cooking. He would go over every course of every of meal. It was the memories of the past, that enabled Louie and Phil to survive adrift in the ocean until they were finally rescued on day 47.

men at seaAnd though none of us have been left adrift on the ocean, most of us how felt as like we were drifting aimlessly about the ocean of life at one time or another. And every day we bob about, we face a new struggle, a new sickness, or a new adversary. As Christians how are we supposed to handle the hardships of life? How do fight the temptation to give up when we face never ending attacks of lust, when we feel spiritually parched, and when we are tossed about by the storms of life? How do keep going with no end in sight?

We remember. We remember what Christ has done. It is the glory of the cross that gives us the strength to face tomorrow. This is why Christians need to partake regularly in the Lord’s Table. We need to be reminded of all that God has done for us. We need to be reminded that we have been liberate from sin. We need to be reminded that the wages of sin our death and that the gift of God is eternal life. We need to be reminded that Christ shed blood on the cross has brought us life. We are changed not because of our efforts. We are changed, we are redeemed, and we have hope because of what Christ has done. And because Christ had done the work. We cannot undo it. We are forever with Christ regardless of what today brings. Therefore, we have hope because of what has been done for us!

This Easter season, we should be excited to take the Lord’s Table because it reminds us that we have been delivered from our sin. Though there is a real and coming judgment, Christ blood has done all the work of redemption. We take the table to proclaim what Christ has done. “And he said to them, ““This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many”” (Mark 14:24). And as we take the elements, we preach to our hearts the encouraging truth of the gospel. We remind our souls that we are the redeemed.  

It is good for us to remember all that Christ has done. It is good for us to observe the Lord’s Table. Jesus is our hope! The cross shows us how to make sense of today and gives up hope for tomorrow! Is the past informing and transforming your life?

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