Philosopher Walter Kaufmann wrote a book ironically titled, The Faith of a Heretic. After explaining our cosmic insignificance, he concluded: “What I want to do and would advise others to do is to make the most of life: put into it all you have got, and live, and, if possible, die with some measure of nobility.”
I cannot help but to say that to tell us to die with nobility when there is no hope beyond the grave is farcical at best.
Compare Kaufmann’s philosophy to Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live.” These profound words, spoken to Lazarus’s sister Martha, were proven true moments later when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
This becomes so much more real when you stare death in the face, either on behalf of yourself or with a loved one. Losing my father fifteen years ago forced me to examine the reality of the resurrection for the first time since I committed my life to Christ. I think that most of us would have trouble finding value in this present life if we believed that this is all there really is.
Yet for most of the world, they live just that way. They struggle with making the most of their lives while having no hope beyond the grave.
It was for this reason that Dr. Nelson Bell wrote, “Only those who are prepared to die are really prepared to live.” The confidence of eternal life, which is given to us through the resurrection of Jesus, gives us added ability to not only cope, but to live meaningful and beneficial lives in the here and now; lives that end only with a passageway into a better life!
Concluding his famous discourse on Christ’s resurrection, the apostle Paul asks rhetorically, “Where, O death, is your sting? Where is your victory?” In reference to the resurrection, the answer is obvious. Death has been overcome––in Paul’s words, “swallowed up in life.”
We have something real to celebrate every Sunday when the church gathers. We come together to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and what it means to us. And it is not just his resurrection… it is the hope of eternal life passed on to all who believe!