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A Greater Miracle Than Healing by Maxie Dunnam

A minister friend told a story of a couple who had been married for twelve years when the woman was stricken with cancer. Medically, the situation seemed hopeless. But each day in the hospital the couple read together the stories of how Jesus healed so many people in his earthly ministry.

As they read, their despair turned to hope, and they began praying together earnestly, knowing that the Lord who loved her would also heal her. But she was not healed. After her death, her husband wrote a letter to his friends describing how their faith brought them through the long days of suffering. Even to the end their trust never wavered. They believed that God’s way is perfect, and that there is a greater miracle even than healing: resurrection.

There is nothing distinctively Christian about belief in immortality; many religions – and many people with little or no religion – believe in the survival of the soul, the Greek philosophy that regards immortality as an inherent attribute of the human spirit. When we address the issue as Christians, we either have to talk about Christian immortality or restrict ourselves to using the phrase “eternal life.” Christian immortality, or eternal life, is different from the natural wish for survival. Our faith in personal immortality is anchored in the resurrection of Jesus. We rely on Jesus’ promise: “Because I live, ye shall live also.”

As Christians, we believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. We do not go along with the Greek philosophy of drawing a sharp distinction between soul and body. We look upon a human being as an integrated whole. The “body” to which the Bible refers is spiritual rather than physical, thus the biblical language, “spiritual body.”

Jesus’ resurrection and his promise of eternal life speak to our feelings of worthlessness, our lack of self-value and self-esteem. The raging materialism of our day tends to reduce us to numbers. To our lack of confidence and feeling about value and worth, the promise of resurrection speaks a powerful word. Jesus is saying to us, ‘you are important, so important that I gave my life for you, so important that I offer you eternal life.’

Though we may not be able to explain the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, we affirm and proclaim this life-changing promise of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”(John 11:25-26 NIV).

Healing we are not always promised, but the miracle of the resurrection gives us life anew. The mystery is profound, yet in faith we live with mystery in joyful anticipation until the full experience comes.