Hebrews 11:32-34 tells us about the victories that God’s anointed Judges, Prophets and Kings had through faith and then verse 35a speaks of the ultimate faith victory, resurrection from the dead. Next, Hebrews 11:35b-36 tells us about those who also had faith in God that transcended this realm. It was the life beyond life that the chosen ones trusted God for, like the two women in verse 35a that received back their dead. Not everyone who trusts God and His deliverer will experience victory in this life. It wasn’t all about a better life in the here and now. Some “…conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” But the ultimate deliverance that they believed in was a place “not made by hands but made by God” which would last eternally.  Not all saints were delivered from their struggles in this life. Some had to look for their deliverance in the world to come. Hebrews 11:35-36 says, “Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.”

The phrase in the English Standard Version that says, “a better life” is more literally “a better resurrection.” The women who received back their dead at the hands of Elijah and Elisha as well as those raised by Jesus while he was on earth, were not a resurrection to “a better life” but a resuscitation to the same life. The were called out of death only to resume their lives on earth and to ultimately die again. Those with faith in God’s ultimate promises of eternal life are more concerned with a life into which they will be called forth by God and will never die again. In John 11:25-26, Before He raised Lazarus, Jesus told Mary, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Earlier in Chapter 9 of the book of Hebrews, the author states “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” The judgment I deserve for my sins has been taken care of by Jesus. He won’t come back to deal with my sins anymore but only to save me. Like the Psalmist every believer in Jesus can say, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil.”