When I was a kid, my friends and I would often make promises to each other. If we really wanted to emphasize our commitment, we’d say things like “cross my heart and hope to die” or we might extend our little finger and hook our friend’s little finger in a “pinky promise.” While we might change our minds about keeping regular promises, a pinky promise was not to be broken. This gesture showed we meant to keep our word.
The Bible is filled with promises, though sometimes in the Old Testament, they’re called covenants. There are several examples of God’s faithfulness in keeping the covenants made with ancient Israel. There are also several examples of people who broke their covenant with God. What is fascinating is to note that the unfaithfulness of the Israelites did not affect God’s faithfulness to them. The Old Testament prophets express God’s grief over the broken promises made, but they always reassure God’s people that God will never break his promises to them. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises. His resurrection, for example, gives us the promise that we will also be resurrected. Many wondered about this promise.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica when they were wondering if God meant to keep his promise of resurrection:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NRSV)
The Thessalonians were grieving and asking big questions: What happens to our loved ones after death? What happens to us? These big questions were a way of asking God, “Are you going to keep your promise of resurrection?”
And as we see in this passage, Paul affirms God’s willingness to raise us by giving us evidence: the very resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus spoke about his certainty in God’s promise of resurrection before he died in John chapter 11:
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” John 11:25 (NIV)
Jesus believed in God’s ability to raise him from the dead, and Paul reminds us that the God who kept his promise of resurrection to Jesus will also keep that same promise to us. Pinky promise.
May you live today in the security of God’s pinky promises, knowing that he is faithful, and Jesus is proof.
Presented by Cara Garrity
About the presenter:
Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Cara Garrity is an elder and Development Coordinator for GCI in the USA.
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