“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” Romans 6:9
I wonder what it will feel like to be resurrected from the dead. I don’t really care how it feels to die, but to be brought back to life . . . that’s something I’m looking forward to experiencing. To know that death can’t daunt me, sickness will never strike me, and grief will not gain a foothold over me. I’m not sure I’m presently capable of comprehending what this will feel like, but it’s sure fun to think about.
It is likely that I will die one day. (If Jesus returns before I die, I will never die. Cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17) My wishes are to have my God-given body placed in a reasonably nice casket. I want a funeral in the church. I want the preacher to comfort my loved ones with words of hope. Words of resurrection hope. Words that look beyond death, beyond Good Friday. Words that proclaim the empty tomb of Jesus. Words that preach the future emptiness of the grave about to be filled with my lifeless body. I want friends and family who care about me to mourn the fact that death has taken me. (While I’m on this tangent, I dislike the poems in the funeral home pamphlets that say things like “Don’t cry for me, I’m in a better place.” I say, “Go ahead and cry for me if you want . . . I’m dead.”) I want my loved ones to mourn as those who have hope. My funeral will not be a final farewell, but a temporary goodbye.
So, I wonder what it will feel like. Will my dead ears all of a sudden be able to hear again as the blasting trumpets announce the coming of my Lord? Will my lifeless arms and fingers revive to find my own way out of the ground or will Jesus Himself dig me back out? What will it feel like when my body and soul are reunited? To feel life breathed back into my nostrils. To stand face-to-face with my Lord, having just been Lazarused out of the grave.
Jesus knows what all this feels like. He was once dead, but now lives. He will never experience the disgrace of death again. The resurrection doesn’t have an expiration date! Once resurrected, always resurrected! Once alive, always alive! What will it be like to live forevermore? I don’t know yet, but one day very soon I will find out. Jesus promises!
“O my God, my rock and tower,
Grant that in Your death I trust,
Knowing death has lost its power
Since You crushed it in the dust.
Savior, let Your agony
Ever help and comfort me;
When I die be my protection,
Light and life and resurrection.”
Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing (Lutheran Service Book, 421)