‘If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.’ 1 Corinthians 15:19
There have always been people who believe in the resurrection from the dead and people who do not believe in it. To those who don't believe in it, there is not much to say. They are materialistically minded: they only care for life here on earth and that is the end. But those who say they believe in the resurrection, can surely be subdivided into two groups: those who subscribe to this teaching but are at a loss how to live with it, and those to whom their faith in the resurrection is so meaningful that their entire life on earth is determined by it.
Faith in God is not about theories but about daily practice. There are many people who believe in the resurrection theoretically, but there are few whose lives are inspired by it. This is why there are so many ‘pitiable Christians’, as Paul calls them. Such people have created a ‘dear Lord’ to satisfy their religious needs, thereby safeguarding their self-chosen goals in life.
But whoever believes in the resurrection and allows that faith to inspire his life, will not fear death. For he knows that God - the Creator of heaven and earth - is not only God of our life on earth. He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when they were on earth, but He has also remained their God after their death. ‘He is not the God of the dead but of the living,’ says Jesus (:32).
Jesus is the One - for all who put their trust in Him - Who was the first of many to rise from the dead on Easter morning. Who has learned to put his trust in Him like that, to live and die with, cannot be pitiable anymore in all eternity.