“O Death, where is your sting.”
“O Hades, where is your victory.”
As mortal beings there are two things that are unavoidable, death and sin. One we can’t do anything about and the other has a remedy. As a Christian we learn that the wages of sin is death, but the gift from God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 So the remedy to the second thing was a gift from God.
As one of the aging community the subject of death is never too far away. So many loved ones, friends, associates and close relatives have passed on ahead of us. With age death becomes a more frequent occurrence because it is the phrase of life you enter with time. Though it is not a pleasant subject to have it is inevitable for everyone. Everyone alive will have to come to terms with death… like it or not.
For believers this is a bittersweet subject because you know that death is a phase where the soul enters the next phase of its eternal existence. The fear of most believers is whether you did enough with the life you were given in order to reap the rewards of what will come next. For unbelievers death appears to be final with no hope of any future. The reality is… everyone will have to pass through the tunnel of death: It is not negotiable.
“For 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.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
There will come a time when I would have crossed over. Even though my spirit rejoices in anticipation of meeting my Maker, my mind does not want to say goodbye to all it has ever known. However, since the mind is a byproduct of the human body, at death it will cease to exist. The body along with all its functions will return to the dust of the earth from which it was formed. Such a step is necessary in order that the soul can return to its rightful place of origin. Like a seed has to be buried in the earth in order that new life can spring forth, we must shed this corruptible body in order to put on incorruption. This mortal phase must end so we can put on immortality. One door must close before the next one can be opened.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it dies it produces many seeds.” John 12:24. We are currently but a single seed in time that has to shed this mortality in order to produce immortality.
Unfortunately it is only through the contemplation of death that many reach out to God. Perhaps it is more the fear of the unknown rather than the exhilaration of being in the presence of God that causes uncertainty. However just as one must believe by faith in God during life, one must belief in the Redeemer for what comes next. Fear is only natural but faith becomes the substance that takes you home. “But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” For he overcame death for us. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians. 15:57-58.
As I sat here still with the breath of life flowing through this mortal body I ponder about what might have been. My hope is that I did what my Lord expected of me. I know that I could have done better but in spite of my numerous faults my salvation was not in my incapability, but in turning to face my Maker seeking His prescription? No person alive can avoid sin; as stated, the wages of sin is death. Thanks be to God my debt has been paid. As it is, I no longer own myself because I have been bought at a price. Therefore I no longer need worry about what I could not do but instead glorify God with this body and spirit that now belongs to Him. I give thanks for what He did on my behalf.
“For me, to live is Christ and to die is to gain.” Philippians 1:22 As Paul contemplated death… in a letter he wrote to the believers in the town of Philippi, he realized he had done the Lord’s work so for him to die was only to gain. However he also realized how much more he had to offer in bringing others to Christ. So for him, to live was to continue allowing the Spirit to work through him. What a wonderful realization that must have been. However, we are not an apostle who was blinded by the Spirit of Christ thereby bringing him to such a realization. But thanks be to God that Christ was sent here to die for us all. Now we have the assurance of salvation through what was done for us… that which we could not do for ourselves.
Now as for the two things that we all must face, we need only keep our eyes upon the target that is before us. Keep on doing all you can to advance godliness, love, joy, peace, faith, patience, be kind to one another, be a good neighbor, look out for one another and always keep hope alive. For if you do such things you need not worry about death. Your godly deeds will cover a multitude of sins. Your victory over death is at hand, thanks be to God who did for us what we could not do for our self. Praise God Almighty! Word!