Nov 05, 2009
A good friend died yesterday. I watched over the weeks as her body, ravaged by cancer, wasted away, wore out, then finally shut down altogether. Her spirit remained vibrant and courageous all the way to the end, her confidence in Jesus undimmed. She was a fighter, a truly remarkable woman- wife, mother, friend. But in the end, her body betrayed her. Doctors and medicine did all that they could, but they, too, were forced to stand by and watch this disease win. In moments like yesterday, it certainly feels like death always wins eventually.
And that’s why the resurrection means… Everything. Jesus rising from the dead didn’t just mean that He experienced a happy ending to His own story. It means that He has now rewritten a happy ending for ours- for all of us who make His story and His life our own. Death had always won before that day. Spiritual death reigned, physical death was the last word. Yes, there were those who believed in some sort of resurrection at some fuzzy future date, but no one had really ever shown proof that it was truly possible. Life beyond death seemed more like wishful thinking.
And then Jesus walked out of a tomb. Fully alive, fully present, completely real. The living picture of what we will one day be. Death didn’t win this time. And now, because of Jesus, death is defeated. Not gone, of course, and still an enemy- but a defeated one. And my friend, who placed her life and confidence in Jesus- she is, right now, as I write these words, more alive than ever. She waits- for the day of resurrection, when a new body will be given to her and all those who trust Jesus. But that day is coming, more certainly than tomorrow’s sunrise. How do I know? How can I be so sure? Because resurrection has already happened. And Jesus- the One who is now raised- has guaranteed our future by His death, which paid for our sins, and His resurrection, which delivers us life. Death will one day die forever. I can’t wait.