Devotional Word for Friday, February 5, 2021
Earlier this week we looked at two benefits of faith in Christ. Today we are going to look at two more. They are questions 57 and 58 of the Heidelberg catechism. Both of these questions and answer refer to a benefit of being united to Christ which we will most clearly see in the future. Specifically, we are going to talk about the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Just because we look forward to both of these benefits, we need to remember that they have been fully secured by our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. We can have confidence that we will be blessed by these benefits because of the perfect work of Jesus for our good.
Question 57 asks, “What comfort does ‘the resurrection of the body’ give you?” The answer replies, “That after this life my soul shall be immediately taken up to Christ, its Head, and that this flesh of mine, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and be conformed to the glorious body of Christ.” This means that when I die my soul will go to be with the Lord just as the thief on the cross in Luke 23. At the return of Christ, my body will be resurrected and my soul and body will be reunited never to be parted. That means that in this life, I am comforted when sorrowful and emboldened in the face of uncertainty knowing that all things, whether my death or my life, will be for my good.
Question 58 asks, “What comfort does the article concerning ‘the life everlasting’ give you?” The answer responds, “That, since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, I shall possess, after this life, perfect blessedness, which no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, and thereby praise God forever.” One of my greatest frustrations as a child growing up in the church was the dearth of information about heaven. The Scriptures really do not have a lot to say about either our time in heaven or eternity in the new heavens and new earth with the Lord. Quite frankly, if everlasting life is merely the extension of the circumstances of the life I experience now forever then I don’t think it would be much fun. I do not mean to say, “Woe is me for I am a man of constant sorrow.” Instead, I recognize that I get tired and cranky, I want and need things. In short, I live in a sinful and fallen world and I do not relish the thought of an eternity in such an existence.
Second Peter 3 describes some of the judgment that will occur when Christ returns. I find verse 13 very encouraging. It says, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” This means that there will be no sin when the Lord returns. That means that as we go through everlasting life, it is in full fellowship with God as we were created and it will be in perfect peace with one another. I confess, I would still like to know a bit more of the details about what heaven will look like, but I am content. I am content because the Scriptures have communicated to me all that is required. Namely, by His life, death, and resurrection the Lord Jesus has paid for my debt of righteousness and I long for the day when I can see Him face to face and spend eternity finding out more about heaven. Amen.