Our Only Hope In Death
Doesn’t death seem so final?
I remember standing at the casket of my grandfather—thinking this is the end. This man that I love will never breathe again. We will never get to share a meal together again. We will never get to watch another baseball game. I’ll never get to hear him play the piano again. I’ll never see him again.
Death seems like the ultimate sad ending. It doesn’t matter how much we try to deny it. One day everyone we love will die. One day every single one of us will die. And that would be just the most depressing and devastating truth.
Unless death was not the end.
Unless death did not have the final word. Unless there was someone who could hold the power of death in his hands. Someone who could conquer death And bring everlasting life.
Someone like Jesus.
He told the Jews—destroy this temple and I will raise it up on the third day.
He told the crowds—The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. And I lay down my life that I make take it up again.
He told his disciples—I’m going to Jerusalem. And they’re going to kill me. But I’m going to rise on the third day.
He told his churches—I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and the Grave.
He told his friends—I am the Resurrection and the Life.
You see, the resurrection is not just an idea to be debated. It’s not just a doctrine. It’s not just a theological category. The resurrection is a person and his name is Jesus. He is the God of the Living and everyone who believes in him will live forever!
The New City Catechism asks this first question: What is our only hope in life and death? And answer is this: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ. Do we really believe that? That Jesus alone is our hope in life and death?
If our hope is not in a Savior who can raise us from the dead, then we are just fools. If Jesus did not rise from the grave—we are pitiful. And if he can’t raise us from the grave and death is just the end—all this is just a complete waste of time. But if Jesus is alive. And if Jesus can raise us from the dead—then he deserves our fullest trust and hope.
And if Jesus will raise us from the dead, is there nothing else that he can’t do for us? You see, the hope of the resurrection gives us hope here and now. If there is hope in the resurrection, then there is hope for your struggling marriage. If there is hope in the resurrection, then there is hope for your struggles in parenting. If there is hope in the resurrection, then there is hope for your depression or your anxiety or your addiction or your loneliness.
If there is hope in the resurrection—and there is—then there is hope that Jesus can and will work all things for our greatest good and his greatest glory. Let’s put all our hope in Jesus who will one day raise us up from the grave. He indeed is our only hope in life and our only hope in death.