This week we have the convergence of two events. One is the pandemic crisis and the other is the celebration of the Resurrection. How do these relate?
Paul was writing to the church at Thessalonica. He wanted to reassure them about those who had died. He wanted them to know that because Jesus died and rose again, "even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep" (1 Thessalonians 4:14). What Paul is saying here is significant. We know that Christ died for our sins. His death demonstrated God's justice (Romans 3:23-25). That's good. We can be declared forgiven on the basis of His death on our behalf. But what about the Resurrection? Why is that important?
Paul gives an answer here. We know we're forgiven because Christ died on our behalf. What then? We know on the basis of His Resurrection that we will be with Him. We will be with Him.
April 22 is Resurrection Sunday and we're celebrating far more than Easter bunnies and candy eggs. Sometimes, I think, we're not entirely clear on what that "far more" is. His death was important -- absolutely vital. His Resurrection is no less. To me, it is critical. Salvation is wonderful. Forgiveness is grand. His righteousness applied to my life is amazing. But to know that one day I will be with Him is my supreme delight. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
How does that relate to the deaths from this virus? Death is tragic and mass deaths is tragedy multiplied. But we have hope. We have confidence. On the basis of His Resurrection, we can know that the death of those who have a relationship with Christ will be a victory rather than a tragedy. We have an answer to this current crisis that no one else does. Death is swallowed up in victory!
We celebrate our Lord's Resurrection every Sunday with special attention once a year. It's not enough. The huge significance of this event gets lost on us sometimes. I, for one, cannot wait for the day that I will be with Him -- to be like Him because we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2) -- on the basis of His Resurrection.
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"Refreshment in Refuge" from