By Matthew C. Harrison
The following is an excerpt from Take Courage: Encouraging Words for Discouraging Times, the forthcoming book by Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. The book will be available later this month from Concordia Publishing House.
If nothing that happened today could change tomorrow, what would it give you freedom to do today? That sounds like the start of a terrible self-help book, but think of it more like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Every day, Bill Murray’s character could do whatever he wanted because he knew the next day was going to be February 2 all over again.
That’s what the Resurrection does. The future is guaranteed. No matter what happens in this life, whatever trials and suffering we will have to endure, nothing changes the end of the story. Our future is already written. It belongs to Jesus. He is risen; so shall we arise on the day of His return.
All the crosses and trials that afflict us today will be left in the grave at the Resurrection. All the suffering and heartache will stay in the dirt. All the brokenness and frailty will decompose with the casket.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:1–4)
Bodies and souls knit back together perfectly. No more mourning, nor crying, nor pain. The former things are the former things. They will have passed away for good. God will dwell with us, His redeemed people. He will be with us as our God. Death shall be no more.
The church lives with this kind of courage and confidence every single day. Each Christian lives with this kind of courage and confidence every single day. The afflictions of this life are temporary. Resurrection is forever. Take courage.
Posted April 5, 2023/Updated April 6, 2023