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When I was younger, I thought that the role of the church was just to remember Jesus, to be His fan club. When the church celebrated Jesus’ resurrection during easter, I thought that the point was simply “how good for Him! He didn’t remain dead. I’m so happy for Him!” What I didn’t get was that the Bible actually says that those who follow Him will rise from the dead just as He rose from the dead. He is “the firstborn from among the dead” (Col 1:18). Or as Paul puts it in his famous passage about the resurrection in First Corinthians:
Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor 15:20-22)
I seriously didn’t know this when I grew up. Even though I said that I believed in God somehow, I believed that I would disappear into emptiness when I dropped the ground, that I would simply become nonexistent. And I realized that this didn’t mean that everything would become black and silent, because I wouldn’t have eyes or ears to see or hear with. It was quite frightening to try to imagine what death would be like.