Hope beyond the Grave

Jim Mead

READ : 2 Kings 13:14-21

. . . as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he came to life and stood on his feet. (v. 21)

The great author G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” Chesterton’s observation is generally true, but many Christian men and women have tried the Christian ideal and been transformed through their trials. They have had a living hope in God’s plan for the future.

Elisha was a person of hope. As he neared death, he still longed for the day when unrepentant Israel would enjoy peace and prosperity. All too often, however, we are like King Joash, with a real but fledgling faith. We may especially have trouble maintaining a certain hope in God’s promise of eternal life.

The concluding episode of Elisha’s story – where his dry bones occasion a man’s resurrection – typifies the life-giving character of his ministry. We are like the poor, unknown commoner who is brought to life by God’s resurrection power in Christ. When all is said and done, we must cast ourselves upon God. The fear of death is real; the sorrow of losing loved ones remains. But there is hope beyond the grave through the one whom death could not hold.

PRAYER

Risen Lord Jesus, fill us with hope for this life and the life to come.