We believe in Jesus Christ… who rose again from the dead on the third day.
I Thessalonians 4:13,14
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.
What is the relevance of Jesus’ resurrection to everyday life?
For those who have no hope of an after-life, death is the end of everything. And even for Christians, bereavement is sometimes a faith-shaking experience. The sense of loss can be devastating, and grief is a perfectly normal reaction to this.
But Christians “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” (I Thessalonians 4:13) Nobody actually knows what happens after death; but Jesus is our connection – a bridge, as it were – between death and resurrection. When He died for us, He drew death’s sting and removed its terror (Hebrews 2:14,15). And because He rose again, we know for certain that there is life and joy beyond death for those who are ‘in Him’.
So for us, death is a temporary state: there will be an awakening. And so it should be no more terrifying or ‘final’ than falling asleep. It is still cause for sorrow (because parting is always painful). But not for despair.