A while ago (within a couple years after college) I read a book by Eugene Peterson called “Practice Resurrection.” I honestly don’t remember much of it, or if it was any good (whatever my judgment of it was, I’m sure I’d now disagree slightly with my previous assessment). Regardless of all that, I remember the central premise being that we as Christians are called to live in light of the resurrection. We are to “practice resurrection,” so to speak. We have a future in front of us that is glorious and free from the entanglements of this world and sins of our flesh. In Christ, our old, sinful selves have been, and one day fully will be, put to death. The resurrection of Christ is our resurrection, as He has made us new. And one day, we will be completely renewed in eternal perfection. This is all promised in Christ, that we have new life in Him. If all of that is true, and it is in Jesus, then we ought to live in light of that. But what does that mean, to live in light of the resurrection? Actually, I think that’s pretty much what all of the New Testament epistles are about – how to live on the other side of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. Since Christ has risen, and you are raised in Him, this is how you should live… (see the beginning of Romans 6). As I reflect on this now, ahead of Easter/Resurrection Sunday, one application sticks out. One way we ought to “practice resurrection” is that we ought to be thoroughly optimistic. Not native about the troubles of the world and trials of our lives. But thoroughly optimistic about how all of this is going to end. And thoroughly optimistic about what God wants to do in and through us now. Because of the resurrection, we should have great optimism that the church will prevail. Because of the resurrection, we should have great optimism that lost people will hear and respond to the gospel of Christ. Because of the resurrection, we should have great optimism that the Lord will grow us in Him, and complete the work He started. Because of the resurrection, we should have great optimism that my own sins have been and will be defeated. Because of the resurrection, we should have great optimism that people can be changed. This optimism is much needed in our cynical and divisive day, just as the resurrection has always been essential to our faith. I hope you’ll join us on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection, share in that optimism, and live in light of the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death.