The hope of the resurrection is central to the Christian faith. Most people would believe that this is an important message of hope for those close to death, that they will live forever with Christ. However, we forget that this teaching is much more important for us who are still living, and nowhere near death.

The forgotten part of this doctrine is that the resurrection is meant to change everything about how we see our life. This is not just a promise that we will live happily ever after with Jesus in eternity; it is God giving us permission to live our lives here on earth differently.

Deep in the human heart is a fear of death, or rather a fear of missing out on the good things of earth. The reason why we all want to live a long and happy life is because we want to suck as much joy out of life before we have to leave. But the resurrection gives us the assurance that we are not going to miss out on anything, because eternal life is going to be better than anything this world can offer.

It was this assurance that allowed the Christians in the early church to sacrifice their lives for the sake of others and not count the cost. It was this hope which allowed the first martyr, Stephen, to throw his life away for the sake of preaching the gospel. This hope has motivated countless numbers of Christians to devote every waking minute of their lives to helping other people and never worrying about themselves. The hope of the resurrection gives us the freedom to love in a way that is reckless.

We need to meditate on this gift of the resurrection every day and allow it to challenge the way we live.