Have you ever noticed some of the crazy things the Bible says about death?
1 Corinthians 5 : 55
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Who talks smack to death like that? And check this out:Matthew 10:28:
Matthew 10 :28
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Seriously, when is the last time you said, “Oh, no worries, this can only kill my body”? How in the world can the Bible make such bold statements?
Verses such as these do not always seem to resonate with the reality of life and death. I know this all too well. Just over three years ago, I stood in the room as my sister Jean Ann’s body lost its battle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). As I mourned the loss of my sister and stood alongside my family, also grieving the loss of their daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and wife, how could I not feel the pain of death? In that moment, how could I possibly choke out, “O death, where is your sting”?
We still grieve. Not a day goes by that I do not think of and miss my sister. In some ways, it feels like I am living in a perpetual Good Friday, when all I see with my eyes is loss and sadness. From this perspective, it is easy to feel like death has won.
But then I am reminded of Easter, of the Resurrection of Jesus. And that changes everything. The Resurrection is what enables me to say, “O death, where is your victory?” The Resurrection empowers me to have no fear of those who can only kill the body. I can stare my sister’s stupid disease in the face and say, “You don’t get to win.”
Death is not victorious. Jesus has won the victory over death, and because of Him, my sister has won, too. The Resurrection means death loses. Game over. The ashes of my sister’s body may be here on this earth, but her soul is alive with our God. It is like her body has just fallen asleep. Death is no more threatening than a nap.
1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-14
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Friends, this life can be hard and painful and short. But it is not hopeless. There is coming a day when “He will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21 : 4). So we look forward to that day. We long for it. We hope for it. And we have faith that because of the Resurrection, it will surely come.
See y’all in the Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."