“Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.” (Isaiah 26:19, NASB95)
Many wrongly think that the concepts of life after death and bodily resurrection are solely New Testament concepts. This is just not true. The Old Testament contains many references to these concepts. The verse above, from Isaiah, is just one of many. But as I contemplated the verse above, what hit me was the context in which Isaiah wrote these words. He was in the middle of telling the children of Israel that they were about to face earthly punishment as a consequence of their sinfulness. Right there in the midst of all that, Isaiah declared eternal spiritual truths about life after death and the resurrection of the dead. I then began to think about the thief on the cross. He, too, was facing an earthly punishment for the sins of his past, but at the same time he was being told by Jesus that “today you will be with Me in paradise.” There was an eternal reality that superseded the reality being lived. Even though Israel and the thief on the cross were facing natural consequences for sins, that didn’t negate the fact that God is a redeeming God who had their eternal destiny won because they believed in Him.
That same truth is real for us, too! We go through a lot of pain, misery, and suffering in this life. Some of this is caused by our own sinfulness, but much of it is a result of living in a sinful world. Regardless, we have a God who loves us and has redeemed us. The truths about our eternal life and bodily resurrection are never in question. They are certain and true. The weary, the martyrs, the strong and the weak believers will rise from the dead on the last day and be with God for all eternity. Nothing we experience in this life can change that eternal reality. We are believers in Jesus Christ and some day we will be in Heaven with Him.
No matter how your day is going today, may this truth be your comfort, your hope, and your certainty.