How final is death? Can we expect to live beyond our earthly lives?
The story of Jesus didn’t end with death because, “God raised him up putting an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24).
Jesus broke the power of death and those who trust him as Savior can rest confidently in his promise, “my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40).
Based on this promise, I expect to be resurrected one day. I expect to live after the death of my physical body. But…
Resurrection is more than life after death.
Resurrection is life after life after death. Yes, you read it correctly. Resurrection is bodily life after life after death. It’s postmortem existence stage two.
I expect to return to identifiable bodily existence just as Jesus did (see: Philippians 3:20). I am grateful to know that I will return in a body that is free from sin and death!
The body matters to God
Six events of biblical history endorse the importance of the body.
- Creation: God fashions the body from the dust of the earth
- Incarnation: God enters the body prepared for him (Hebrews 10:5)
- Resurrection (Christ’s and ours)
- Ascension: Jesus has bodily existence at the Father’s right hand
- Salvation: The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
- Glorification: Final redemption of the body (Romans 8 )
If we take Jesus at his word, all people should expect to be resurrected. Jesus said, “a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out (John 5:28-29).
But Jesus also said that some “will rise to live” and some “will rise to be condemned.”
Those who rise to live
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
Those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior can rest in his words of assurance, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17-18).
“Christianity is, among other things, the wonderfully good news that this life is not our whole story.” (Robert Roberts)
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).
Until that great day, we ask God for grace to apply the truth that, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Yes, we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23).