On each first Sunday this year, I’ve been reflecting on different passages in Scripture where the theme of Renewal is emphasized. I’ll continue that tomorrow.
Everyone–regardless of his or her faith orientation–wonders about the afterlife. What happens after death? Is there a heaven? A hell? Will I simply cease to exist? What will the afterlife be like?
Perhaps these questions become more vivid when life is hard, especially when we feel like our days on earth are numbered. Is this all there is? Will things ever get better?
Job had suffered incredible loss, so it doesn’t surprise us to hear his reflections about death and life-after-death. If you read the verses just prior to the ones pasted above, you’d hear a sense of despair, of desperation. Job lived in a time when he had very little clear revelation from God about life after death. It seems that in his misery he despaired of any kind of improvement in his situation.
But near the end of his crying out–in the verses we’ll focus on tomorrow–there’s a kernel of hope. “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come. You would call, and I would answer you; . . .”
Till my renewal should come. He had only an inkling of what he was pointing toward. He had no way of knowing that one day God would come to earth as a man and stand near the tomb of a good friend and call–just as Job had hoped–and Lazarus would answer.
Not too long after that Jesus went to his own tomb, of course. God called, and he answered, and because of that, we know the answer to Job’s desperate cry.
When we die, will we live again? Will God call us from our graves?
Yes, we will. And yes, he will.
We will live again.