This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis’s thoughts follow:
Scripture: “Having hope in God, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts: 24, 15)
"Hope in the resurrection of the dead must fill us with joy during our earthly life. The grave is not the end. We will arise again to a new, eternal life.
"Christ not only preached about the resurrection of the dead, He Himself descended into the grave and in three days returned alive to earth. In doing so, He proved the possibility of resurrection. He, the God-man, died and arose, and this amazing thing became possible for everyone. By His death He conquered death once and for all. Now death is a defeated enemy. “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, will live!” (John: 11, 25), says Christ.
“Our life does not end, does not cease with death. The spirit does not die, but lives after death with a fuller and more wonderful life. The body alone descends into the grave, where the righteous sleep in Christ until the resurrection. A final awakening awaits them. There will arise not the former, temporal, sinful and mortal human remains, but a body, renewed and not ruled by passions, which will live forever with Christ.”
And this is what Lewis says about our resurrection in chapter 16 of “Miracles”:
“The records represent Christ…as withdrawing six weeks later, into some different mode of existence. It says – He says – that He goes ‘to prepare a place for us.’ This presumably means that He is about to create that whole new Nature which will provide the environment or conditions for His glorified humanity and, in Him, for ours…It is not the picture of an escape from any and every kind of Nature into some unconditioned and utterly transcendent life. It is the picture of a new human nature and a new Nature in general, being brought into existence…The old field of space, time, matter, and the senses is to be weeded, dug, and sown for a new crop. We may be tired of that old field: God is not.”
It’s comforting to me to think that the next life will be better than this one, although, like Lewis, I do believe in a possible temporary cleansing in Purgatory.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)