April 30, 2015

The Hope of Resurrection

Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death. Job 14:14 (NLT)

The death of a loved one hurts. It raises ultimate questions. Job asked, “Can the dead live again?” Jesus answered, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. John 11:25 (NLT) The Old Testament doesn’t say much about the resurrection of the dead. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul called death the last enemy to be destroyed. (1 Corinthians 15:26.)  In Job’s day, the common view for eternal life had more to do with continuing the family line. Yet, with all ten of his children dead, he had little hope of continuing his lineage. After unimaginable suffering and grief beyond description, Job despairs of life; he asks if the dead can live again. He says, “If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death.” 

Because the Bible is a record of progressive revelation, we can now see how this budding hope blossomed when Jesus conquered death. Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live!” (John 14:19 NIV) It was the hope of the resurrection that enabled Paul to say, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (NIV) Like Job, Paul experienced more physical and emotional torment than, perhaps, any other New Testament character apart from Jesus. Yet, it was the hope of the resurrection that sustained him. This was the confidence Jesus was able to give His disciples on the evening before His death. In John 14:1-2, Jesus told them,

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” 

It’s not clear what all Heaven will be like, but John would later reveal in 1 John 3:2, Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

You may not be suffering a loss or trial now but, if you live long enough, you will. Jesus told us that, in this world, we would have trouble; but, we can be of good cheer! How? Because Jesus overcame the world, sin, and death! In Him, we have abundant life! The hope of the resurrection offers us the promise of eternal life! Death is not our destiny! In Christ, we have already crossed over from death to life! In John 5:24 Jesus said,

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

You don’t cross over when your heart stops beating. You cross over the second you believe! Christ is so much your life that you don’t even experience death! In John 14:26 Jesus said, Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”  Do you believe this? If not, believe now! Experience the hope of the resurrection today! Cross over from death to life!