The Blessed Hope
The blessed hope of the resurrection isn’t like a lottery where only one person out of millions will hit 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 puts it this way: ‘…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 after-life. 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] was raised from death on the third day…He presented Himself alive to Peter…His closest followers…more than five hundred…James…the rest of those He commissioned…and…finally…to me’ (1 Corinthians 15: 4-9 TM).
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 Savior, 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!
‘…Looking for the blessed hope…’ Titus 2:13 NKJV
ENCOURAGEMENT 4 TODAY
John 14:6, 12, 14, 19-20, 23; 16:27 Luke 11:9-10, 13
I am the way, & the truth, & the life! No one comes to the father except through me. Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; & greater works than these will He do, because I am going to the Father. If you ask me anything in my name I will do it! Because I live, you also will live! In that day you will know that I am in my Father & you in me & me in you! If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, & my Father will love him & we will come to him & make our home with him! The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me & have believed that I came from God! I tell you, ask, & it will be given to you, seek, & you will find; knock, & it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, & the one who seeks finds & to the one who knocks it will be opened. How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!