If Christ did not come out of that tomb alive, if the resurrection is not a historical fact, we have nothing, and our faith is a cruel delusion.
The other night in prayer meeting, we were taking turns reading scripture. We went around the group a couple of times and when my turn came again, I was asked to read John 11:25-26:
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
With some advanced warning, I probably would have been fine, but, being caught unprepared, I was barely able to get through the whole thing without choking up. How could I not weep reading Jesus’ words to Martha?
For these two verses are the focal point of my faith right now. They contain the promise I grab hold of every time missing Hans becomes overwhelming. Without this promise, I would never see our son again.
Christ’s resurrection is a promise of victory over death and the grave for all who know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Hans’ physical body is here with us. I can look out my window and see where it is buried. But from that very spot, Hans will come up out of the ground and be clothed with a new, indestructible body. We will join the Lord in the air, and be together forever. Jesus said so.
Resurrection: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A rising again; a return from death to life; as the resurrection of Christ.
2. (n.) Especially, the rising again from the dead; the resumption of life by the dead; as, the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the general resurrection of all the dead at the Day of Judgment.
Jesus Christ’s literal, actual, physical, bodily, resurrection is the very foundation of Christianity. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we have a guarantee of the future resurrection of all believers. That includes Hans.
Wishful thinking is just not enough. If Christ did not come out of that tomb alive, if the resurrection is not a historical fact, we have nothing, and our faith is a cruel delusion.
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)
If Jesus rose from the dead, then everything he said is true; and if he did not rise from the dead, it is false.
“It [the resurrection] proved him to be the Son of God, inasmuch as it authenticated all his claims (John 2:19; 10:17). `But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.’ Therefore the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation.” -Hodge
Our resurrection body will be different from the body which was laid to rest in the grave (1 Corinthians 15:53,54; Philippians 3:21). However, its identity will be maintained – we will know each other. It will still be the same body (1 Corinthians 15:42-44); but it will be transformed into a new and perfected body – whole, healthy, powerful, beautiful.
I not only believe all this. I know it.
And we are so completely sure of seeing Hans again, that we had it written in stone.
“I’ll be right back” were Hans’ last words, spoken to his brother just before driving to the highway.
We’re holding him to it.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: The Return of the Lord
13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
For further study: 1 Corinthians 15: The Resurrection of Christ
NON-ENGLISH – Read or listen in your language here: John Chapter 11: Lazarus is raised from the dead.