For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
1 Corinthians 15:22-23
Anyone standing by the graveside of a departed loved one or friend considers the questions that arise: What do I believe about this event called death? Even knowledgeable Christians have to defend themselves against waves of sadness and longing by remembering the promises of Jesus Christ concerning faith and eternal life. Those promises—promises based on the Resurrection—give the Christian renewed hope that is sometimes clouded by grief.
Job asked the same question: “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) And Jesus answered, straight to the point: “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25b). But the new, first-century believers living in far-flung places didn’t have Jesus’ words at hand, so they were often concerned about death. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica to assure them that when Jesus appears, “the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Christ was the firstfruits from the grave; we are the harvest to follow (1 Corinthians 15:20). The grave of those who die in Christ is a place of hope.
True faith is ever connected with hope.
2 Kings 1–5