Death has come because of what one man did, but the rising from death also comes because of one man. In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again…
It is written in the Scriptures: “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam became a spirit that gives life. The spiritual did not come first, but the physical and then the spiritual. The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven. People who belong to the earth are like the first man of earth. But those people who belong to heaven are like the man of heaven. Just as we were made like the man of earth, so we will also be made like the man of heaven.
I tell you this, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. Something that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins…
This body that can be destroyed must clothe itself with something that can never be destroyed. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that can never die. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 45-50; 53 (NCV)
Death has been on my mind a lot lately. The recent passing of a dear woman from my home church in Pennsylvania and news of a mother in my MOPS group who was involved in a life-threatening accident brought the realities to the forefront of my heart.
There have been times in my life when the thought of dying was terrifying. There have been times in my life, especially in the midst of my fight against depression, that death has seemed a welcome thing. As a mother and a wife, the enemy is perpetually attempting to ensnare my mind with pictures of the potential horrors that ‘could’ happen – to my children, to my husband, to myself – it is a constant battle against anxiety and fear.
Death is inevitable in the process of life. Everyone will die because of the consequence of sin caused by the choices that Adam and Eve made. In some ways, I think that death is hardest for the living. We have to endure in life, a part of our heart missing. We have to find a way to process our grief, to move on but never forget.
…When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. And when you sow it, it does not have the same “body” it will have later. What you sow is only a bare seed, maybe wheat or something else. But God gives it a body that he has planned for it, and God gives each kind of seed its own body. 1 Corinthians 15: 36-38 (NCV)
For those who have accepted Christ in their heart, those who put their faith in the saving power of the Cross, there is hope. Death is no longer something to dread. It is a time for rejoicing. It is a time for a remembering the goodness in a person’s life and for celebrating a graduation into glory. It is a time for the earthly body to be ‘planted’ in the ground and be raised to a life that can never be destroyed; raised in glory, in power, and in spirit (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Our loved ones become whole, renewed, and restored to perfection in heaven.
When my brother died, early on in the stages of the never-ending healing process, God whispered to my heart – he is a planted seed, a seed that will reap a harvest. I knew that I would never see the whole picture, the big picture, but I trusted in that truth. He gave me His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?”…we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55; 57 (NCV)
True to His Word, my brother’s death was not in vain. Countless people have come to know the Lord, lives have been changed, hearts healed. My own testimony of trusting God has ministered to others, restoring hope and confidence in the Lord. I have seen first-hand His faithfulness conquering desperation and triumphing over loss.
Death has no victory. My victory is found in Jesus Christ. He defeated my enemy. He cleansed me, made me new and gave me everlasting life. My hope is in Him, the joy of my salvation. I rejoice in the Lord for He is good.
But I am like an olive tree
growing in God’s Temple.
I trust God’s love
forever and ever.
God, I will thank you forever for what you have done.
With those who worship you, I will trust you because you are good. Psalm 52:8-9 (NCV)
Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.