Faith Anticipates a Future Resurrection Despite Present Suffering

Hebrews-11-35By faith, women received back their dead (Heb. 11:35). Isn’t that crazy—expecting God to raise the dead today? Doesn’t that sound weird? Yes, it’s weird because it’s unusual. But in the NT, they expected people to rise from the dead. One day, the daughter of a religious ruler died. Jesus said to the ruler, “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk. 5:36). Then Jesus went to the house and raised her from the dead.

In Acts 9, a disciple named Tabitha (in Aramaic) or Dorcas (in Greek), became sick and died. Peter knelt down and prayed and said, “Tabitha, arise.” Then Tabitha opened her eyes and sat up on the bed. Faith believes God for the impossible to happen today.

Yet the writer stresses also the faith that believes God for new life in the future. He says that others were willing to be tortured till death, while expecting a future resurrection–a resurrection to eternal life.

“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life” (Heb. 11:35). The verb “tortured” comes from the Greek tumpanizo, which means “beat a drum, drum on; hence torture with the bastinado or tympanum, a cudgel for beating the bottoms of the feet; more generally beat or torture with rods and clubs, often resulting in death (HE 11.35).” (Friberg) The victim is tied to a drum and there beaten to death. They were willing to suffer this kind of torture till death. They trusted God that they will receive a future resurrection.

That is an attitude of faith. Faith is willing to suffer, anticipating a future resurrection to eternal life—a better resurrection, a resurrection for eternity.

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