VANTAGE POINTS
For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16

Vantage – a position giving a strategic advantage or a commanding perspective:

….the dead in Christ shall rise first. Some promises that the Lord gives to us are more riveting than others. While everything He has said in His Word shall be, certain promises capture our imaginations more than others. This promise that the dead in Christ shall rise first is especially stirring. Perhaps because when we think of those who have gone before us, we want that rise for them—and we want to be a part of it, too.

Resurrection Day lets us be a part of the fullness of the resurrection promise—no matter where we are in it now. Some are on the other side and some wait here. Whatever our position, those who believe in Jesus as Savior are certain that a rise is coming. A personal resurrection will occur. Easter reminds us to remember the individual pledge inherent in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It belongs to every believer in Jesus.

The vantage points in this life that believers in Jesus have are not in people but in spiritual truths based on the Truth found only in Jesus. Daily activities, special events, and family traditions take on an entirely different look and feel in seasons of grief and transition. Yet, the singular and paramount vantage point for the Christian is Calvary and the rise of Jesus three days later. This is the greatest encouragement to which to take hold. It assures people that Jesus will be with us on good days, low days, and all other times until He take us to be with Him in Heaven, and rejoin others who have gone ahead.

For those who suffer loss of loved ones, the removal of pillars of familiarity can be particularly difficult for life can feel empty and meaningless. Additionally, the world is shifting and shaking in serious ways. The daily news delivers this fact. Even though personal worlds and the world at large are changing, we are not to let go of our grip on God, His promises, and His power. Nothing that happens in this life will ever stop the surge of God’s power and promises, and the certainty of the vantage point we have because of Jesus.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). Looking to Jesus is the only way to live through all the seasons of our lives. Bereavement seasons are challenging and exhausting. With every goodbye we send a little bit of ourselves along with the person who left. But Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us to give us comfort, help, and sterling reminders that believers in Jesus are not alone and never without hope. The One who died for our freedom from sin also lives for our freedom from despair and sorrow. The dead in Christ shall rise first, when the trumpet sounds. For now, the same loving Lord Jesus will continue to raise our spirits to new life as we live out this life with Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith.

Lord Jesus, what was done to You on Calvary was treacherous and beyond words. You endured the crucifixion for the sins of everyone. Lord, a deep Thank You for what You did. Thank You for what is ahead for the dead who rise first, and for all who make You their personal Saviour and Lord. The spirits of believers everywhere are filled with jubila-tion and anticipation as we raise voices to proclaim the Easter Truth—Jesus Christ is risen. So shall all who believe in Thee, Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, and for Jesus, Amen.

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