Certainly we don't think about death for long periods of time. On the other hand, we do think about our death fairly frequently, even if it is just for an instant before we put it away for our other thoughts. "It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
The Dallas Morning News is the newspaper that in my opinion gives the most thorough coverage to religion in America. In the Saturday edition, right before Easter this year, I read that "Resurrection Day" is increasingly important to those who believe Jesus was raised from the dead by God. This day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus as the Son of God, a day that proclaims that those who hope in him expect that new life will be given to them by means of a "resurrection body" unlike any body they can imagine.
When I read of the faith of the earliest Christians, I truly don't understand the strength of their witness or the courage of their daily faith without getting up close to the life of their resurrected Lord. The resurrected Jesus transformed their lives from fear-laden followers, who are almost defeated, to those so convinced that He is risen that they are glad to suffer disgrace for the honor of His name. (Acts 5)
Early Christians told their neighbors that their God was the one who raised Jesus from the dead — and that all who trusted God's promises would go through a like experience. (Romans 4:17) All who give Jesus allegiance by identifying with his death and resurrection in baptism now live in a new creation.
Ever since I was a pre-teen, I've figured that everything important to our Christian faith is tied to the resurrection of Jesus from that grave. "Jesus is risen" is the foundation of pretty much all the rest of our faith. The evidence is ample to support our faith — but it is still a proclamation of faith. I look forward to a transformed body at the day of redemption, knowing this will take place at the second coming of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15: 51-54; 2 Corinthians 5:1) When I think of it, I yearn for it to happen soon. God's Holy Spirit lives in us as a "foretaste" of that day. I want better clothing in that immortal body.
Tell your family, even those who don't share your longing! Then maybe one day soon, they will come to share your hope.
There are many things I don't understand and several things that I truly doubt will happen the way some people think. However, I'm fully aware of this beat-up body that I carry around — based on my Lord's promise — will be replaced with a wonderful new one.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere. (Philippians 3:20-21)
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