1st October 2018

Personal Resurrection

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26 (NRSVA)

My own personal understanding of the resurrection has grown over the years. As a young Christian, I imagined millions of believers being raised to glorified life all together. The world would become the largest stadium in history, with us all singing: “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10). Wow! Now that will be a great worship service to join in with!

But there is a missing part to that vision: the personal face-to-face encounter with Jesus. My huge concert of praise would have me somewhere “lost” in the massive crowd, looking at God and Jesus Christ from afar. The Gospels show Jesus to be someone who loves to personally encounter the children of God. Think of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), Nicodemus (John 3) or Thomas (John 20); 3 stories among many told by the New Testament. God did not love them from a distance—Jesus Christ engaged them in direct conversation.

Perhaps the raising of Lazarus in John 11 is a good indication of what the resurrection will be like. “When [Jesus] had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’”(John 11:43). Will that be the same for us? Could it be that one day I will be raised from death by the cry “Ian, come out!”? Jesus himself told us: “Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out” (John 5: 28-29).

Certainly, we know that “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” (Revelation 1:7), but I guess the full itinerary of the day of Resurrection has not yet been published. But, like a small child in the back of the car on a long journey, I’m impatient to find out more! It is good to look forward with excitement to the full unveiling of God’s kingdom, as such meditation fills our hearts with hope.

The Resurrection will be such a wonderful event. In that hour we will all sing together in great praises to God. In fact, will the angels be able to shut us up?! Even better than that, we will all personally meet our Saviour, the One who made us, became just like us and then died for us – so that we can live forevermore.

Prayer
Father, thank you for the wonderful hope of the resurrection from the dead. We look forward to the day when will will see Jesus face-to face and when all Christians, from all ages, will sing praises to you. We anticipate this in the Name of our one and only Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley
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About the Author:
Ian Woodley is an Elder and Pastoral Council member of the Edinburgh Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International (Gracecom for short).

Local Congregation:
Gracecom, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EDINBURGH
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: peter.mill@gracecom.church