Tuesday, 16 April 2019 22:20

Resurrection

21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:21–27 ESV)

The hope for heaven is very real for many people. There is widespread belief that there is some kind of life after death. I think I remember hearing polls saying that was true for 80% of people in our country. Of course, there are many different ideas about what heaven might be like. Will we have bodies? Will we recognize one another? Where will it be? Who will get there? These are important questions. Where can we look for answers?

The Bible tells us that God made us to live with Him and to share in the blessings of His Kingdom under His rule. But human beings have rebelled against God, preferring to be in charge of our lives. Human history reveals that we have not done a very good job of it. According to God’s plan, and at just the right moment, God sent His Son Jesus into the world. He called people to turn away from their rebellion and to believe in Him as the King and Rescuer sent from God.

In the passage quoted above, Jesus talks with a woman, Martha, about the death of her brother, Lazarus. It is a very human scene, and most of us can identify with her thoughts and feelings in some way. In times of grief, the question of heaven looms large. Like most people, she believes her brother’s life will continue, in some way, after the grave.

Then Jesus boldly claims that he is the resurrection. He is the one who can make it happen. He is the door to heaven that we enter through believing in Him, entrusting ourselves to Him, following Him. A few days later, Jesus was killed on a cross. Three days after that, He rose from the grave! That’s the good news of Easter.

As we struggle with life, with meaning, with hope in the face of pain and death, this is the amazing fact we must consider. If Jesus is risen, as the Bible announces, then everything is different. Our hope is no longer based upon a wish to escape our fears. Our hope is founded on the actual, historical, physical resurrection of Jesus.

For those of us who believe this is true, the resurrection story is cause for joyful celebration. For those who are doubtful or indifferent, it is cause for careful consideration. Nothing could be more important than to get this right.

Spend some time in the Resurrection story told in the Bible. Read one of the gospels yourself, or with a friend. Join in worship, where these passages are read and explained and sung and celebrated.

May God help us all to find the hope that Martha found, trusting in Christ, the Son of God.  He is Risen!

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 22:25