Children’s ideas of death and resurrection often surprise us. TV legend Art Linkletter once had a TV show highlighting the funny things children say. One of his funniest stories was about a seven-year-old boy whose dog had died.
To make the teary-eyed boy feel better, Linkletter said, “Don’t be sad, because your dog is up in heaven with God.”
The boy thought about this for a second and then said, “Mr. Linkletter, what would God want with a dead dog?”
Right. No dead things in heaven.
[By the way, we can't know for sure about dogs' destination... but Randy Alcorn has a wonderful chapter about pets in his book, Heaven. It encouraged me when my Jack Russell Terrier died.]
The truth is, God is all about giving life. We celebrate that truth on Easter; we celebrate the resurrection.
I got a kick reading about a four-year-old girl’s description of Jesus’ resurrection: “And three days later,” she said, “He snuck right out!”
Cute, but not true. Jesus didn’t sneak out of the grave.
Our Lord emerged triumphant over death, and showed Himself to hundreds of people in 12 appearances after His resurrection!
He appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:10-18). He appeared to the women returning from the tomb (Matthew 28:9-10) and to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32; Mark 16:12-13).
He appeared to Simon (Cephas, or Peter) in Jerusalem (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). He appeared to the disciples and others in a locked room in Jerusalem ~Thomas not being present (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23). A week later, Jesus appeared again to His disciples, and Thomas saw Him (John 20:24-29).
He appeared to seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-24), and to 500 believers at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). He appeared three more times to various disciples (1 Corinthians 15:7; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:50-53) before His ascension to heaven ~ and then to Paul after the ascension! (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8).
The wonderful consequence of Jesus’ resurrection for us today is this: because He lives, we too shall live (John 14:19). Jesus’ resurrection was more than an event. In John 11:15, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life…” He is the resurrection. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) ~ the only way to live forever with God.
Just as death could not hold Jesus in the grave, the scriptures say, “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26). I echo Jesus’ words: “Do you believe this?”
Christians who are blood-bought and in Christ are heaven-bound, eternal creatures. The glorious truth is, Death cannot hold us down.