This week, I’m thinking about the resurrection. But not just Jesus’ resurrection. I’m also thinking about my resurrection.
Next to the light switch in my childhood bedroom hung a little plaque that had been my great-grandmother’s. “Looking for that blessed hope,” it read. Next to it was another plaque: “Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
I thought about each phrase every now and then as I reached to turn on or off the light. The second plaque made sense. I understood intellectually that not all that I was doing was worthy of eternal reward. It made sense that watching cartoons on a Saturday morning instead of helping my dad with yard work wasn’t worthy of eternal reward.
The other plaque filled me with more guilt than hope. My great-grandmother had been “looking for that blessed hope” when she died. She was in her late 80’s when she died. Of course she was looking forward to heaven! It had to be better than struggling with Alzheimer’s and an aging body.
But why would I look forward to the blessed hope? I was a kid. I knew that a kid dying was a bad thing. I wanted to live my life and not get my "blessed hope" yet. What hope could a kid derive from the truth of the resurrection?
After talking about the reality of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians, Paul concludes with this observation: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Lord willing, we’re going to develop this more on Sunday but I want you to see three very fascinating truths: (1) we know that there is a future resurrection (2) because there was a past resurrection and (3) that gives us life in the present.
Does contemplating your future resurrection give context to your life right now? Does it put all of your present suffering in context? Does it put all of your present joys in perspective?
Whether you are an nine-year old boy or a ninety-nine year old woman, the truth that there is resurrection should be causing you to be steadfast and abounding in the work of the Lord. Your labor is not in vain. You can't live rightly now until you come to the conclusion that this life is passing away.