“Looking for the blessed hope.” Tit 2:13 NKJV
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” (Jn 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” (1Co 15:23 NLT). Paul was writing to Corinthian Christians who’d been schooled in the Greek philosophy of a shadowy afterlife. 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” (vv. 4-8 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” (1Th 4:17). Awesome, absolutely awesome!