For Christians, a funeral is an act of faith and defiance, declaring, “This is not the end. This is only the beginning.” The Bible offers words of comfort about what happens to believers when they die—promises of eternal life secured by Jesus’s own life, death, and resurrection. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15 are a promise: Our earthly bodies are but seeds of what our heavenly bodies will become. “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies,” and we “are not sowing the body that will be, but only a seed” (vv.36–37).
Because of Jesus, the resting place of every believer is the site of a future resurrection. Jesus, the firstfruits from among the dead, invites us to share in His resurrected life (1Corinthians 15:20). His resurrection both shapes and secures our hope—not only in death, but also right now, in this life. “Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1Peter 1:3b–4). Christ’s resurrection changes how we understand death, but it also changes how we view life in Christ even now.
Over the next three weeks, we’ll take a closer look at Jesus’s life from the time of His resurrection to His ascension, reading about the encounters He had with His disciples and others after He was raised from the dead. We’ll look to Scripture to learn how Christ’s resurrection changes everything for those who put their faith in Him.
May the truth of God’s Word capture your heart with the reality of the resurrected Jesus. He alone is our living hope.