March 30th - What Sting?
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (NKJV)
There is an appreciable difference between those that are "in" Christ and those that are apart from Christ. Jesus stated: "Apart from Me you can do nothing." Contrast this with the Apostle Paul's declaration: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." This contrast continues throughout our life on earth and even extends to the life to come. "He who has the Son has life, and he who does not have the Son does not have life." The Bible clearly teaches us that for those that are in Christ, the next plane of existence is everlasting life where there is no pain, no sickness and no more pain. This is huge!
Death remains an unwelcome event; However, the finality, the hopelessness, and overwhelming sorrow, has been swallowed up in victory! It causes the Believers in Christ to shout, "Death, where is your sing? Hades, where is your victory?" As Believers we grieve the separation caused by
death, but we do not mourn as those who have no hope, because we know that the life to come is better than the life now lived.
I have recently had a number of people, that I counted as my friends, who have died. I miss these people--I mourn the loss... But, I also know that I will see them again. It will be quite an overwhelming reunion when generations of friends and family gather before the throne of God and celebrate. We will then truly understand the undisputed fact that death has indeed lost its sting!
Author's Note: I try to remember and celebrate the lives of people who have died. I enjoy seeing their pictures and remembering the good times that we experienced together. It is all in anticipation of that which is to come. When we all get together it will be quite the celebration...a very long celebration indeed! RJD