“If we have put our hope in Christ in this life only, we are of all people most pitiable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1Cor15:19
Confusion, chaos, agony, mockery and doom loomed over the crowd on that tragic hour of Christ’s death. Was there anyone besides Jesus, who put the pieces of the puzzle together to fit the beautiful work of redemption God was about to bring to culmination? Imagine what it must have been like for Mary, the mother of Jesus or the disciples who loved him dearly. Could they grasp how such a terrible death could be in line with the majestic will of the King of the Jews? Indeed, it would have been the most depressing thing if Christ has died and that was the end of the story. But it was not the end, it was merely the climax of the most magnificent love stories ever told. Yet, this love story is not a fairy tell. It is a true story about the truest of all loves. A powerful crazy love that would rock the world and change its course for eternity.
The moment Jesus died the earth quaked, the rocks were split and most amazingly the graves were open! (Mt 27:51) The bodies of the dead saints were raised and appeared by human eyesight to many of the living of that day. John MacArthur describes it as a foretaste to the future resurrection at Christ return, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1Thess 4:16-17) Even during those darkest hours of death, our gracious God gives a foretaste of Hope.
Sorrow without hope is unbearable, relentless and unceasing. Truly, there is no lasting relief for sorrow without the Hope of Christ. Losing my husband has been most heart-quenching. I’ve tasted the goodness of marriage in its delightful one-flesh relationship. Marriage is merely meant to be a foretaste of the mysterious glory of being one with Christ in heaven. However, I think it is the most wonderful picture we get to behold this side of glory into our anticipated union with Christ. Our Lord came to take himself a bride who was tainted and ruined by the effects of sin. He died on the cross to wash it all away, for she was otherwise helpless. He rose from the grave to make an end forever of sin & death, and embrace her his heavenly kingdom. One day the dead one Christ will be raised. It will be the beginning of an eternity in paradise. We rejoice in the greatest miracle to ever take place—the death and resurrection of Christ, and us with him!