By Shawn McMullen
• Elijah raised the widow of Zarephath’s son from the dead (1 Kings 17).
• Elisha brought the Shunammite woman’s son back to life (2 Kings 4).
• A dead man was resurrected when his lifeless body touched the bones of Elisha (2 Kings 13).
• Jesus resurrected the widow’s son at Nain in the middle of his funeral procession (Luke 7).
• Jesus brought Jairus’s daughter back to life (Matthew 9).
• Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave (John 11).
• Jesus sent out the Twelve with instructions to “raise the dead” (Matthew 10).
• When Jesus died on the cross, tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people were raised to life (Matthew 27).
• God the Father raised Christ from the dead (Matthew 28; Ephesians 1).
• Peter restored Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, to life (Acts 9).
• Paul raised a young man named Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20).
These accounts remind us that God is sovereign and that all things—even death—bow to his will. Biblical resurrection stories bring us comfort and joy. But they’re the exceptions, not the rule. More commonly, death comes and stays.
We say good-bye to close friends and precious family members. We mourn the loss of lifelong acquaintances and grieve the passing of those whose time on earth seemed far too brief. In time we, too, will be caught up in death’s grip. As long as earth exists, death is the inevitable conclusion to life.
Thankfully, that’s not the end of it. Even though we must yield to death now, there will come a day when death will be a distant memory. As amazed as we are by the resurrection miracles we read about in Scripture, Christians will one day participate in the greatest miracle of all—resurrection to new life with Christ in Heaven.
The apostle Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 15. “Listen,” he writes. “I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (vv. 51, 52).
Can you imagine a more comforting promise, a greater miracle than this? One day all God’s people will stand together in the presence of our glorious Lord. We’ll be clothed in resurrection bodies. We’ll have perfect health and strength, perfect joy and peace. Forever.
That’s why Paul could write, “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (vv. 54-57).