Sunday, July 31, 2016

Death Swallowed Up

1 Corinthians 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

I’ve often heard that the best time to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ is at a funeral because it’s not hard for people to examine and take an account of their life when death is lying right in front of them. Any other time, it’s socially uncomfortable to talk about death in a world that focus’ on life and living. But, “Where will I go when I die?” and “How do I get to God’s heaven?” are natural questions that come to mind, when there is a loss of a loved one. Pastor Kennedy explains that as Christians need to know that the great specter of death, which has always clouded the horizon, has vanquished. Strange how our culture is obsessed with gruesome “Slasher” and horrifically violent movies, not to mention real terrorist,  bringing death to our world community almost weekly, yet our personal end is not to cross our mind. All of our might and wisdom, all of our cunningness and power have been to no avail before the invincible might of death. Adam and Eve brought this dark fiend of mankind into the world, but it was against this heartless monster that God commissioned His Son.

John 3:16 16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.” (GNT)

Jesus Christ gave Himself up into mortal combat with death and tasted death for every man, woman and child on earth. The Word of God tells us that He laid down His life for us. Due to our Sin, Jesus paid a price that He did not owe, because we owed a price that we could not pay. What was that price? Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Christ allowed Himself to be bound in the grave in order that He might “break the bands of death.”

Psalm 107:14 “He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces.”

By His substitutionary death, He undermined the power and foundation of the grave. From Him was lit an everlasting light in the tomb. The king of terrors, Death, had his crown snatched away, and Christ arose triumphant over the grave. We read in Revelation 20:10, 13-14 “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” As Christians, we should rejoice. We know the end.

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

The whole world over, people lack hope when it comes to death. But that is not true when it comes to Christians … when we go “down”, we go “up”, (meaning that when our life on earth ends, we go to heaven to spend eternity with the Lord)! We who trust in the great Prince of Life need no longer to fear death. In light of Christ’s resurrection, death has been swallowed up in victory.

In Christ, Brian

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