Christ’s resurrection enables us to daily live in anticipation of a brighter future that is to come.
Anticipating vacation time with family frequently motivates me through the long months of cold winter weather. I think about walking across the warm sand of an ocean beach or spending long evenings with my family sitting around a camp fire. Somehow the anticipation of summer fun helps the cold winter days and nights pass a bit quicker.
Scripture unfolds a clearer picture of God and His incredible plan for us as we read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Many divine truths come into purest focus through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our understanding of God’s plan regarding our resurrection remained fuzzy until Jesus came to earth.
He not only taught us divine truth about our resurrection; He demonstrated it through His own bodily resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead not only validated everything He said and did on this earth, but it also guaranteed our resurrection as well. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). Our faith in the hope of resurrection rests firmly on the ministry and example of Jesus.
I have pondered a mystery of the Christian faith my entire life. Decades of research and thought have not given me an adequate answer to this question: “How is it possible to be so homesick for a place we’ve never been?”
Maybe it is because we do not realize our full potential on earth. Maybe it is because we long for a level of justice and peace not found here. Maybe it is because we are anxious to join friends and family members who have gone before us. I know my anticipation of resurrection took a giant leap forward the day we left the body of our granddaughter in a graveyard.
Perhaps the greatest source of our homesickness comes from a deep hunger for uninterrupted fellowship with and worship of Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Andre Crouch popularized a song many years ago that found a permanent place in my heart. The song title: “It won’t be long.” It brings our resurrection into clear focus:
“Count the years as months…
Count the months as weeks…
Count the weeks as days…
Mmm, any day now…
We'll be going home.” 1
That song frequently runs through my head. In fact, most mornings when I drive to work, I witness the sun peeking over the eastern horizon – testifying to a new day of life on earth. I usually say to myself, “It won’t be long now.” Elaine Briefman in her article entitled “Resurrecting Emotionally Intelligent Christianity” reminds us that we “live and die full of faith.” That is the rock-solid certainty of every believer in Jesus Christ.
Christian believers do not, however, sit and idly contemplate the hope of heaven. Doug VanNest said it well, “The world. . . cries out for us to enter into its brokenness, as Jesus did, offering ourselves in loving compassion, and it needs us to enter in with the hope-filled good news of redemption and resurrection” (Embracing Death and Resurrection: The Tension of Discipleship).
Much work remains for us to do in fulfilling God’s redemptive plan for humanity.
The Lord has given every one of us tasks as His hands and feet in this needy world. So, we work daily in the power of His Spirit. Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me” (John 9:4). The hope of resurrection motivates us to work with reckless abandon for Christ and His kingdom.
Just as I anticipate vacation time with my family during the cold days of winter, all believers in Jesus Christ anticipate resurrection morning when the hope of our salvation will realize eternal fulfillment. I pray that you will enjoy the presence of Christ as you live in the anxious anticipation of the incredible future guaranteed to you by His resurrection.
1. Crouch, Andraé. “It Won’t Be Long.” Lyrics. Soulfully. Light Records, 1972.
Frank M. Moore is editor in chief of Holiness Today.
Holiness Today, March/April 2018
Please note: This article was originally published in 2018. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.