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TONY ELDER: As Christians, we can look forward to resurrected spirits

I’ll admit that I’ve been watching one of the newer shows on television in recent weeks. Before it ever premiered, the previews got me hooked.

The program is titled, “Resurrection.” The story-line is about several individuals who have been dead for years suddenly showing back up alive. We’re not talking about another zombie show full of gore as the living try to survive attacks from the walking dead. These particular returning individuals appear to be much like their former selves — or are they?

The aspect of the program which sparked my curiosity is how these resurrections will eventually be explained. What caused or empowered these people to return from the dead?

That question hasn’t been answered yet, although some hints have been dropped. I figure I will probably be very disappointed when that answer is finally revealed. I’m afraid it will have something to do with space aliens or some other far-fetched idea that will bring my interest in the show to an end.

The concept of resurrection is a fascinating one. One reason is because it provides hope in the face of the common and unavoidable experience among all of humanity — death. Except for those believers who will be alive when the Lord returns, we’re all going to die one day.

It’s interesting to think that this inevitable and powerful foe could actually be overcome. Additionally there is something mysterious about such a prospect which stirs people’s imaginations.

But the Bible assures us that the idea of a resurrection shouldn’t simply be relegated to TV shows or science fiction stories. It’s both a historical fact and a future certainty. God’s Word records several individuals being brought back to life after having died, Lazarus being the most famous one. However, each of them eventually died again.

Then there’s Jesus. His resurrection was different. His body didn’t just revive in order to die again several years down the road. His physical body was transformed into a new and improved version. It shared similarities to His former appearance, but also some definite differences. He could be touched and eat food, but He could also suddenly appear or disappear. He was recognizable as Jesus, yet not easily recognized.

Most significantly, Jesus was resurrected to live forever in that condition — never to die again.

Jesus’ resurrection not only confirmed His identity as the Son of God, but it also revealed the kind of resurrection the Bible says we will experience one day. Believers in Christ will be raised to a resurrection of life, while unbelievers will be raised to a resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29).

Death is not the end for any of us. But our eternal destiny in connection with our resurrection hinges on whether or not we receive Christ as our Savior.

Therefore we do have hope, in spite of the inevitability of death. Christ won the victory over death, and He is the One who gives us the victory as well (I Corinthians 15:57). Yet there is still a mysterious aspect to the resurrection. The Bible doesn’t answer all our questions about our future state. But it does describe our resurrected bodies as spiritual, glorious, powerful, and immortal.

We know the source of this resurrection. Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God, and it’s the same divine power that will raise us up one day.

I suppose that’s why I know I’m going to be disappointed in the explanation given about the resurrections on that TV show. Unless the answer is God, it will miss the mark.

But let’s remember that with God, all things are possible — including Jesus’ resurrection, and even our own.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at revtelder@aol.com.