Friday, April 12, 2013

Hope – In the Resurrection

Death is the great equalizer, everyone dies. According to the Holy Scriptures “It is appointed once for mankind to die and then the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

One of the core beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after the crucifixion. Of all the religions of the world, many spiritual leaders were martyred, but only Christianity claims their leader rose from the dead. No other religion would be so bold as to make that claim.

Although people being raised from the dead is not all that uncommon in the Old and New Testaments. It was God's mercy toward people that he used his prophets Elijah and Elisha to raise sons of women. Even the bones of Elisha raised a dead man. (2 Kings 13:20-21). God in the person of Jesus, raised a widow's son, Lazarus, and Jairus' daughter too. Jesus shared his power with his disciples to raise people (Matthew 10:7-8). Later in the spread of the gospel, Jesus' life giving power lived in his people. Peter and Paul, both raised people from the dead.

Hope in the resurrection is what keeps many people going forward in faith, especially in light of the fact that Jesus not only was raised from the dead, but he continue to minister to people afterward. He appeared first to a couple of disciples and then to a larger group. He sat down and ate with them, proving that he was no ghost or apparition. They touched him and put their fingers in the wounds from the crucifixion. He stayed with them for another forty days before he went back to heaven. (Acts 1:3-4)

The hope in the resurrection – is the promise of new life now and eternal life in the future, because our lives have purpose and meaning. The first blessing of the resurrection in new life in Christ – we are born again when we believe in Him. Second blessing of the resurrection comes as we pass from this physical life, we have a few things to look forward to. First, we get to see Jesus! (John 14:3) Second, we will rule and reign with him (Revelation 20:4). Third, we will have a perfect bodies that will never age, become diseased or die ever again.(1 Corinthians 15:42, 2 Corinthians 5:1-6) Forth, we will live again on earth for a thousand years with Christ (Revelation 20:6) and then the promise of a new heaven and new earth forever living in peace.(Revelation 21:1-4).

Have you considered what the resurrection of Jesus really means? If Jesus did not raise from the dead then everything he said was a lie and we are still under judgment for our sins. Scary thought! But I praise God because I know it was not a hoax or a made up story. Jesus conquered death for all of us. His blood brought us mercy and forgiveness because we believe.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son. Whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16

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