The first thing to be thankful for God: He IS!
Putting the proper preposition in place becomes important when speaking about the very existence of the Holy Trinity. When speaking to agnostics the question of the Big Bang theory always comes into play and we must answer the question with a question such as can you create something out of nothing? Since they rely on science then everyone especially scientific proponents must realize you cannot.
This brings us to the question regarding death, burial, resurrection, and what comes next. Attend a funeral service and watch as the celebrant blesses the casket at the entrance to the church. “In baptism he/she died with Chriist, he/she will rise with him.” The whole synopsis of the service is not the things the deceased did or gave away, it all revolves around resurrection. The articles of accomplishments will be heard from eulogists.
Jesus went through too much rejection, humility, and finally pain and suffering before Calvary. He took on a cross made of wood, in addition to the cross he bore before Good Friday. He was nailed to this wooden structure, bled precious blood, was given vinegar in place of water, and gave up his spirit and died. Jesus was placed in a borrowed tomb and left alone with guards to ensure no one would steal his body.
If on the first Sunday he was still asleep in this tomb and the stone had not been rolled back, we would have to agree with the Pharisees that this all was a fraud and he was not the Son of God. As St. Paul said; “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching empty, too, your faith. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable of all.” (1 Cor. 15: 13 - 14, 16- 19).
Back to the funeral and the essence of any burial is not good music, a sound homily, or nice words about the deceased. Everything relies on the resurrection, first of Christ then each of us in our own turn. Of course that Sunday the stone had been rolled back, the guards were gone, and two angels asked the women what they were looking for. “He has been raised as he said.” (Mt. 28: 5 - 6).
Another question arises from skeptics; “what happens to the remains in the ground if we are resurrected? The fact is we are not yet reunited with our bodies until the last trumpet is heard. It’s as though our bodies are asleep in a spiritual manner and when the trumpet is sounded it will be as though the bodies were sleeping and will rise together as though it was in the twinkling of the eye. “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet . For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor. 15: 51-52)
Since in heaven there is no time or space with God. So, we say that with God there is no beginning. Even the preposition was is removed and replaced with the word IS since using was would indicate a beginning. Now, we realize that if there is no past or future with God, our death places us in the present with God. Therefore, we await our reuniting with our bodies in a present condition.
Ralph B. Hathaway