What are you looking forward to?
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
Death. It brings an end to everything and anything we try to hope in or place our confidence in. Whatever you look forward to in order to make life good, one-day death will bring it to an end. It’s truly an awful thing to look down into the hole in the ground into which someone you love is about to be put. The world is full of religions and philosophies that are full of ideas about the way things are and therefore what the best thing to do is. But although many speculate a state after death, none have a coming back from death. While we might try to believe that floating around as some ghostly spirit in some ghostly realm is nice, it’s not really ‘being alive’ as we know and love. Our world understands the ideas of ghosts and zombies, but ghosts and zombies are really dead, not alive.
At the heart of Christianity however is not an idea, a philosophy or a speculation but an event. An actual thing that actually happened. And in the first ever Christian sermon, Peter states what it is: ‘God has raised this Jesus to life.’ Peter isn’t talking about a shadowy ‘passing over’ to some spooky realm. He isn’t speculating that Jesus might have gone off to ‘a better place’. He’s talking about Jesus actually coming back to actual life, in this actual world. That Jesus had been put in a hole in the ground and covered, but now the hole was opened and empty and Jesus was walking around with his loved ones, as alive as he had been before. Not only so but Jesus didn’t just return from death but passed through it, unable to die again. An event witnessed by a crowd of people who only suffered because of what they proclaimed about him.
And it’s this event that became the basis of our own hope. The sure and certain hope of an actual thing that will actually happen – that all the holes in the ground which hold people who have trusted in Jesus will one day be opened and empty and we will be as alive as we are now. And that’s something to look forward to.
Head: How have you thought about life after death? What does Jesus’ resurrection tell us about life after death?
Heart: What are you looking forward to? Why?
Hands: How might the hope of the resurrection change where you put your energy today?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the amazing hope of the resurrection of Jesus. Thank you that by trusting in him I will have new life, real life, forever. Please forgive me for setting my hope in this world and enable me to live for that ne resurrection life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A song to listen to: Raised with Christ
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.