Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by OCF Communications
“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, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—1 Corinthians 15:55-57, NASB
It is said that Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, diplomat, writer, and inventor, penned in a letter the most familiar use of the phrase “death and taxes” that we know today as the well-known adage “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
With April of 2023 containing both Easter on the 9th and Tax Day on the 18th, there is an inherent focus on both death and taxes, with the latter being likely more in the forefront with the majority of Americans. That is, unless we are facing that the sands of time are about to run out in our own life or in that of a loved one. Then the specter of death and what it means beyond the grave—if anything —leapfrogs to the very top. And the stakes of whatever every single one of us in humanity decides about that for ourselves couldn’t be higher.
For Christ followers, starting with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary on the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, the angel’s glorious pronouncement of “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6), was the fatally thrust sword through the frightening specter of death and what it now means for all Christ-followers. His glorious resurrection is a once-for-all-time victory that opened the floodgates of one day coming back to life again after our physical deaths.
In Him, though we die, we receive eternal life because of Christ’s complete and total payment to remove the spiritual death sentence awaiting us if we died in our sin. His resurrection also set into motion the final countdown that is still unfolding toward God’s restoration of all things.
The Apostle Paul wrote his wonderful discourse of 1 Corinthians 15 to encourage all as we wrestle with the big questions about life after death. Is that true, or does existence end forever at death? And if life does exist beyond the grave, what does it look like and how do we get there?
He bluntly reminds those among the Corinthian Christians and any who doubt the veracity of Christ’s resurrection of the absurdity of Christians following a still-dead, alleged Messiah, “If we have hoped in Christ only in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied” (v. 19).
Paul spikes a banner not just in earthen ground, but permanently upon the solid Rock that is Christ. The resurrection of His Son represents God’s victorious declaration to the world and to the enemy, and His promises to those who follow Christ that death is not the end but the beginning of a glorious future. Yes! As Christ rose again to life from death, so will we (vv. 21-22). Yes! Christ will reign, and after destroying every entity of darkness—the last being death—Christ will deliver the kingdom to the Father (vv. 24-26).
God tells us through Paul that in being steadfast, immovable, and always working for the Lord our labor is not in vain (v. 58).
As we rejoice in Christ’s resurrection, which seals our eternal salvation, how does that truth spur us on beyond Easter Sunday to all-out living life for Christ? OCF prayer warrior teammates—what are your prayer requests or praises?
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