When we think of life and death we think being born and then one day dying thus life and then death. But the Christian world view is the opposite. Death and then life. Before life there is only death. The distinction is very important and the twist changes everything about how this current life is lived. People do not like to think of death in real sobering terms, but since we are on the Halloween season where zombies and skeletons are all the rage I do want to pause and be sober about the reality of death. Death where is your victory?
God through the Bible tells us that because of sin (all the evil stuff we do) there is no amount of good that we can do to counterbalance all the bad we have done in life. This world is dead. This world is temporary. We may see life, building, and new but it is all temporary. A last gasp of air leaving us and the planet dead.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-2 ESV
Sobering. Not as much fun as Halloween but scary as hell. Death does not await because death has already arrived. So if we are not moving from to life to death because we are already dead then how does one move from death to life? How do we exit the nightmare of hell, zombies, and curses?
Before I answer that question, I have a question for you dear reader. Are we the sum of physical chemical reactions and when those stop, we cease to exists? When this body dies is there nothing? How we answer that question points to life.
Death where is your victory?
The church in Corinth had a faction that rejected the idea of a resurrection. They believed the same as the secularist today that when this body expires that that was that. To this Paul in his letter to the church clearly states that what is a Christian who does not believe life is the future state?
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:12-14 ESV
Central to the belief in God is that life awaits. And God has already demonstrated his power over death by raising Jesus from the dead on the third day. Jesus all of his physical chemical reactions were done. He was dead. He was placed in a tomb with all the burial procedures and left there for three days.
That is the end of the story death is still lord and master of this world. Christianity never has a start because Christ died. “You were dead in trespasses and sins” the Bible states. You “were” dead does not mean you “are” dead. Christians are no longer dead they are alive. Why because Christ did not stay in that grave.
[Jesus Speaking] I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Revelation 1:18 ESV
Death is defeated it has no victory. Jesus makes all things subject to his authority as part of the triune God. Death has no hold on the Creator. So the opportunity stands how to move past the horror of Halloween and into the spring of life. Jesus draws all peoples to him for life. Dear reader there is nothing more important than this life or death choice. Live with Christ or stay dead in your sins. Call on Jesus. Enter into a conversation with the Creator who made you more than the physical and chemical reactions of your present body.
53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 ESV
Thanks for reading and I hope this can help with your devotional or small group. Leave a comment or click the like button. You can also read more on Suffering and Death.