Monday, March 23, 2015

Grief, Unbelief and the Resurrection

Q. I know Christians believe in life after death and they base this on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. I want to believe this is true, but my husband and unbelieving friends laugh at this. A number of our friends and relatives died this year. Death is so ugly. Life is so confusing. Jesus lived so long ago. How can anyone in today’s world really believe life goes on? How can anyone believe in the resurrection?   

A. Do you remember what the world looked like in February? Here’s a picture of my rose bushes – there were no roses under the snow. Nothing was there but dead branches. Death is ugly like the dead roses, and difficult to accept. 

Grieving with Hope          
We attended a number of funerals last year. All were funerals of faithful Christians. While funerals are not my favorite pastime they aren’t the worst activity either. We went to each funeral to show love and support for the family members, but each funeral also blessed us because of the faith of each family. These families believe in the resurrection. Losses are difficult and painful. Yet each of the families spoke with hope and faith about the loved one now being with God. The fact that these were Christian funerals made them a time of celebration, hope and rejoicing as well as a time of sadness at the loss of each person. 
Grieving without Hope
I’ve been to funerals where the families were without faith. These are really sad affairs. You live and you die and that’s it. There’s no eternal purpose to life. And certainly, there’s no eternal life afterward. It takes more faith to believe this than it does to believe in the resurrection of Christ. Though he lived a long time ago there is historical evidence that he rose again. There were many eye witnesses. The historical evidence is solid in Scripture and also in secular histories of that period.       
Believing in the resurrection                                                                    The song, “If You Could See Me Now,” was played at two of the funerals last year. The chorus of this song says: 
If you could see me now…
You wouldn't want me to ever leave this place,
If you could only see me now.
Nature reveals the truth of the resurrection. Remember how my roses looked in December? Here’s how they looked last May. How can we see these evidences in nature and not believe in the resurrection? This takes more faith than unbelief does.

Christ died and was buried in the tomb – he was as dead as my roses. He rose again! He’s alive. Ask him into your heart. Ask him to help you with your unbelief. Read his Word. Ask a Christian friend to help you believe in the resurrection. Visit a Christian church during this Easter season. The pastor and members will answer your questions and help you believe in the resurrection.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26 NIV

Blessings, Dottie

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