‘Looking for the blessed hope…‘ Titus 2:13 NKJV
The blessed hope of the resurrection isn’t like a lottery where only one person out of millions hits the jackpot. And it’s not a wishful sentiment offered at gravesides to comfort the grieving. It’s a hope built on certainty. Jesus said, ‘…Because I live, you will live also‘ (John 14:19 NKJV).
Paul explained: ‘…There is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when He comes back‘ (1 Corinthians 15:23 NLT).
Paul was writing to Corinthian Christians who’d been schooled in the Greek philosophy of a shadowy afterlife. Someone was trying to convince them that corpses couldn’t be raised, neither theirs nor Christ’s. And the apostle couldn’t bear such a thought. So with the brilliance of a great attorney in his closing argument, he reviews the facts: ‘… [Jesus] rose again the third day … He was seen by Cephas [Peter] …then by the twelve …He was seen by over five hundred brethren …James …then by all the apostles …and …seen by me’ (1 Corinthians 15:4-8 NKJV).
How many witnesses were there? A handful? No, hundreds! And they didn’t just see a phantom or experience a sentiment.
Graveside eulogies often include phrases like ‘She’ll live on forever in our hearts.’ This isn’t what Jesus’ followers were saying. They saw Him ‘in the flesh’. And if you’ve trusted Christ as your Saviour, one day you, too, will see Him in the flesh. At death, your spirit will go to be with Him, and at His return your resurrected body will rise to meet Him in the air. ‘So shall we ever be with the Lord‘ (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Awesome, absolutely awesome!
Soul Food: Jer 31-32; Luke 24:13-18; Ps 32; Pro 9:10-16
Written by Bob & Debby Gass
Monday, 6 April 2015