Hope is the gift that Jesus gave to us through his resurrection. It is a hope that stretches beyond the grave. Therefore Paul said, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor. 15: 19).”
First of all this hope gives us the assurance that death is not the final chapter in a believer’s life. Instead it is like sleeping and then waking up in God’s presence.
Death’s dark tunnel is full of light for a believer because Jesus went ahead and tasted it for us (Hebrews 2:9). Where he has gone ahead of us, we too can go with the assurance of his presence with us.
Secondly, the resurrection of Jesus fills our heart with hope that we will meet our loved ones again. Death’s separation is not final. When final goodbyes are said here a great welcome happens in heaven.
And then those who have passed ahead of us into glory become a great cloud of witnesses waiting for us to finish our race faithfully as they did (Hebrews 12:1). And then at the last trumpet there will be a jubilant reunion (1 Thess. 4:16, 17). What a glorious hope it is!
So then the great realization each one of us should have about the resurrection is that this life on earth is a preparation for the one ahead. But many of us live in such a manner that any one watching us sees absolutely no difference between you and an unbeliever. How can that be? It is because you live as if your life ends with the grave.
No. That should not be. If the resurrection of Jesus fills you with hope then it should impact you so dramatically that others would see a sense of purpose and a longing for the soon return of Christ in you. If these are absent, sadly your understanding of the story of Jesus ends with him still in the tomb!
Live in expectation of the return of Christ. And that death is not the end but beginning of heaven.