The biggest surprise of all time

The biggest disappointment of all time has been humans dying who never live to tell the tale. It’s a strange situation we humans find ourselves in, where billions of us die but none of us come back from the dead to explain what happens next. It seems like an odd thing for evolution to do to us as well, letting us live for a few years and then disappear with no actual purpose in life beyond living it until we die. You wonder why we bother putting up with the mess of life at all, when after years of struggle, heartache and pain the lights go out and that’s it.

And that was the state of affairs all the way through the Old Testament too. Even God’s chosen people, the Israelites, lived and died in their millions without any evidence of a life after death. No wonder the Sadducees didn’t believe in a resurrection from the dead, when there was clearly no proof of it.

On the other hand, there were many Jews in Jesus’ day who did believe in a resurrection from the dead, based on scriptures in the Hebrew Bible, even though there was no actual mention of the word ‘resurrection’. But there were hints of resurrection, as Jesus himself pointed out to the Sadducees who tackled him on the resurrection in Mark 12. Jesus replied in verse 24: “Are you not in error because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?” And then in verse 26: “Now about the dead rising – have you not read in the book of Moses….?” Oh, so resurrection was there in the Old Testament after all. But there was still no proof as yet that resurrection actually happened.

Until, that is, the biggest surprise of all time, when Jesus was resurrected. Even to the Jews who did actually believe a resurrection would happen were shocked, because no one was supposed to be resurrected until the end of days, based on Daniel 12:2, when “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”

But suddenly, here was a human being who’d been resurrected ahead of time – and look what he’d been resurrected into, as well. He wasn’t a ghostly, disembodied soul or spirit essence floating off to heaven in a green haze, he was in a human-like body. So here, for the first time ever, a human had died who’d lived to tell the tale of what happens next.

So there really is a life after death – and it’s lived in a human body too. It’s two surprises for the price of one.

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