Resurrection Hope Because Death Stinks

Death stinks. I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. So when Facebook reminds Seminary Gal “It’s been a while since your readers have heard from you,” I wonder if you’d all think “Just as well” so long as this is where my mind is. My mind has been pondering death in part because our longtime furry companion (a permanent loaner from our daughter whose apartment only allowed one dog), our Bichon named Sammy had cluster seizures this past week despite ample doses of anti-seizure medications. He ended up with extensive neurological/brain damage and paralysis and so on Friday, I told him he was a very good dog and that I loved him. I held him while he went to doggie heaven. (OK, the Bible says nothing about it, but I cannot bring myself to believe otherwise. Not this week.)

And then there was the attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.   Primarily children, teenage girls who looked forward to enjoying entertainment with a pop icon were targeted for murder by terrorists who have no value for life, for whom death is their currency of evil, and well I’m angry at what death does.  And what death leaves behind.

When we last left off with the Apostle Paul, he was laying out his legal case for the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Today, he reaches the conclusion that humanity has had an enemy since the Fall. That enemy is death. And having held yet another part of God’s creation as it passed from life into the shadows of death, I think about the source of life, God, and the breath of life, His breath and how the body may look, even feel the same, but there’s a profound difference between one who is alive physically and one who is dead, permanently.

Back in Eden when mankind fell into mortality…Satan, it seems, won the day.  But he didn’t win the war.  Jesus came and conquered!

Revelation 12: 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!

So, when the Bible tells us that Jesus was the firstfruits of the Resurrection and that eternal life belongs to those who defeat death by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, it’s a cause for joy. It’s a source of hope. It’s a truth worth believing in and a power worth waiting for.  It’s a balm to the hearts of the broken and devastated.

The Apostle Paul says Jesus, the firstfruits, has already been raised and as followers of Christ, we will someday, in turn.  1 Corinthians 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

I’m eagerly awaiting that final destruction of our accuser. I hate him. I’m tired of death. I am tired of thinking about death. So, I’m looking for Christ at His return with the rock-solid assurance of resurrection, that day in which death is no more…and of the glorious day in which we’ll hear a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on May 23, 2017

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