A Better Resurrection
“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35, NKJV)
Through Christ the grave was not simply postponed, it was put away. In their book, The God Conversation, Moreland and Muehlhoff illustrate the universal desire for a story to end on a happy note. "And they lived happily ever after" is a constant refrain in fairy tales, films, and love songs. Our well-meaning friends tell us, "It's going to be all right!" This desire for a “happily ever after” experience seems deeply embedded within us. This weekend Southern Adventist University and the University Church had the awe-inspiring opportunity to participate in the SonRise pageant, but what would SonRise be without Christ’s resurrection? What would SonRise be without a hopeful ending?
In Hebrews, the apostle Paul alludes to women in the Bible who experienced hope on the other side of tragedy. Women who tragically lost their loved ones only to embrace them again through the miracle of resurrection. Such blessed women include the widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite woman; both experienced the sorrow of losing their sons only to experience the joy of seeing them being raised to life again through the power of God. What could be better than that? Surprisingly, Paul continues writing and makes an unexpected turn by stating “others” who were tortured and not delivered will experience a “better resurrection” - what could he possibly mean?
To make sense of it all, Paul appears to be referring to two categories of faithful people. The first group of people have faith and witness a resurrection, but the “others” also have faith and their lives go in an unexpected direction. Perhaps the reason is, no matter how spectacular it was for each of the women to receive their loved one’s back to life, each of them were still subjected to pain, suffering, disease and death; the grave was put off but not yet put away. Christ’s resurrection is better because it brings victory over the eternal grave. Christ’s resurrection means no more pain, suffering, disease or death, and an eternal happily ever after.
Ellen White writes, “To the afflicted ones I would say, be of good comfort in the hope of the resurrection morning…” May this resurrection weekend remind us that Christ provides the better resurrection, which saves us both from both the penalty and the power of the second death.
- Based on your current circumstances, whose experience can you relate to more and why?
- Write a note to God expressing your feelings about Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
- How can you focus on the “better resurrection” this resurrection weekend?
 J.P. Moreland and Tim Muehlhoff, The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith (IVP Books, 2017), page 151.
 Ellen Gould White, Selected Messages From the Writings of Ellen G. White, Book 2 (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 273.