When you review surveys asking what people fear most in this life, death is often at the top of the list. But this is not true for the Christian. Why? Because our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death, once and for all!
Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-58)
To be sure, death is a difficult thing to deal with on this side of the grave. And death affects every one of us. We have all lost loved ones, and one day we ourselves shall all die. But we have a promise that provides great comfort to us right now, even as we advance toward the inevitable day when we will take our last breath on this earth. This promise is rooted in the greatest event in the history of mankind: the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because Jesus rose from the dead and His tomb is empty, we are assured that we too will rise from the grave and live with Him for all eternity.
Unbelievers reject the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. They present with naturalistic explanations to brush off the empty tomb and the eyewitness accounts of a risen Savior. They tell us the body of Jesus was stolen by His disciples (a story first concocted by the Jewish religious leaders, as Matthew 28:13 records). Or they will insist that the women went to the wrong tomb on that first Easter morning . . . a preposterous claim to which I respond, “Everyone in Jerusalem went to the wrong tomb? The women, the Twelve, the religious leaders, the Roman soldiers? No one in Jerusalem was ever able to locate the tomb of Jesus a second time?” Every empty tomb theory is still exactly that: both a theory and empty!
On the third day, a dead man really got up and walked out of His grave. He walked and talked with His disciples; He even ate with His disciples. They touched Him and examined His wounds from the crucifixion.
Jesus conquered death and the same will be true for everyone who has, by grace through faith, trusted in Him for salvation. The foundation upon which we stand could not be more solid or certain; we know that Jesus rose bodily from His grave, and no one has ever offered an even remotely credible rebuttal of that historic event.
Today Jesus Christ is seated in the position of power and authority at the right hand of God the Father. And one day soon, He will come again at the end of the age. When He does, our resurrected bodies will be reunited with our spirits and we will enjoy unbroken and unending fellowship with our God in the new heavens and the new earth.
Do not fear the prospect of death, you beloved of the Lord! For the Christian, to be absent from the body means to be present with the Lord, and there is no greater place in the universe to be than in the presence of the One who has made a way for us to enjoy life eternal.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!