No one wants to die. It is an experience we seek to avoid at all costs, yet this dark specter dogs our steps and haunts our nightmares from the day we are born. Stories have been told and movies have been made about the fabled fountain of youth that will enable one to live forever. The funny thing is, the key to immortality has been right in front of us all the time.
The Resurrection of Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to immortality. Let’s look at 1st Corinthians 15:20 – 23.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. ESV
Through His own death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has made it possible for every man, woman, and child to experience resurrection was well. Adam’s sin opened the door to death for the human race. Through His obedience, Christ abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2nd Timothy 1:8 – 10). For now He has given as His Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we will one day be resurrected as well (2nd Corinthians 5:4 – 5). Although He is the first one raised from the dead (Acts 26:22 – 23), He will certainly not be the last.
Those Who Have Died
The church in Thessalonica had some concerns about what would happen to those who had already died. The apostle Paul wrote them this word of comfort.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. 1st Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 NLT
Those who died in Christ will not be forgotten. They will be called forth from their graves at the return of the King. This fully confirms what the Lord Jesus Himself said.
“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:28 – 29 ESV
Wouldn’t it be cool to be near a cemetery when that happens!
Those Who Remain
Those of us who are still alive when the King returns will also experience a transformation of our bodies.
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 1st Corinthians 15:51 – 53 NLT
There you have it. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to immortality for both the living and the dead. How amazing and extensive is this salvation that was brought to us by the Lord Jesus Christ!
This is one of the reasons we are eagerly waiting for the return of the King. Our future is not floating around heavenly places playing harps all day long. We are from the earth, and on the earth we shall remain as we enjoy a new creation. Death will be swallowed up in life. Our mortal bodies will be clothed in immortality. Do you really want to live forever? Start living in the Reign.