How Faith in the Resurrection Looks
There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them.
- Hebrews 11:35-38
The author of Hebrews is reflecting on how believers through the ages were treated by the authorities. Often, it was not pretty. But the believers held on to the resurrection - that life would blossom on the other side of every loss, including our physical death. They deeply, deeply grasped the meaning of Easter.
You probably noticed how Christians are rarely treated this way today - unless, of course, they stand up to the reigning authorities and push for a different approach to treating people. For example, think of someone like Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is another passage that connects resurrection to the subversive life of reinterpreting what matters most in the world, and then pushing to dismantle the societal structures that deface the image of God in other people. Perhaps this could be your invitation today to truly believe in resurrection - namely, that it is better to join with Jesus in seeking the kingdom (and to face the real costs) than to succumb to the world at large (which often seems to include the church at large!). Talk with Jesus about strengthening your faith (which is what this whole chapter in Hebrews is about) so that you could join him as a freedom fighter for your own soul as well as the lives of others.