The Believer’s Hope, Part 5

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

My children love going to the zoo and seeing all the wild animals that don’t roam around our neighborhood. I, for one, am glad that we don’t have lions and tigers wandering our streets. When the fierce predators are safely locked in their enclosures, I can stand just a few feet away without fear, but my reaction would be very different if I came face to face with a lion in my backyard. There is confidence in knowing that the predator has been captured and is no longer a threat.

In much the same way Paul rejoices in Christ’s overwhelming victory over death. Looking forward to the day when our corruptible bodies have put on immortality, the apostle boasts fearlessly in the face of death, because he knows that the grave no longer has authority over the Christian. Like a captured and caged lion, this once-unconquerable foe has been overcome by the power of God in Christ. And like the lion, death has been rendered powerless to harm us, in fact it has been swallowed up, completely engulfed in Christ’s victory.

If we, as believers, will see through eyes of faith that Jesus Christ has won the victory over death, we too will challenge death to do its worst. Its pain is temporary and fleeting when compared to the glory of eternal life in heaven, and we would do well to meditate on that fact. Let us not be tempted to despair when a beloved brother or sister sleeps in death, but let us rejoice in the hope of a blessed reunion with all those upon whom death’s claim was shattered when Christ rose from the grave.

That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.” – C. S. Lewis

Scriptures to read: Isaiah 25:6-9; Colossians 2:13-15

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