LOVE TRIUMPHANT OVER DEATH
“Fear not. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold,! am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”– Rev_1:18.
IT WAS not possible, said St. Peter, that our Lord should be holden of death (Act_2:24). It behooved Christ to suffer; but all the bitter waters of suffering could not quench his love. He was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Therefore, every man, even those who pierced Him, is included in His great love.
Christ died, not only to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, but to rob death of its terrors, and deprive it of its sting. In death our Lord Jesus destroyed both the Devil and his power; the prince of this world has been judged, and cast out of the seat of power (Heb_2:14-15; Joh_12:31; Joh_16:11).
Let us not be afraid of the mystery of death. Christ has shown us that it is the gateway into another life. There is the same spirit, but a different environment. It is a condition of existence in which the same voices are heard, the same human fellowship persists. During the forty days in which Jesus tarried on our earth after His Resurrection, He solved many of the problems of life after death, and illuminated its mystery. To die is to be with Him, and to be welcomed into the great company of loving spirits (2Pe_1:11).
Let us not fear the loneliness of death. The soul passing through the dark valley becomes aware of Another by its side—”Thou art with me.’” Death cannot separate us, even for a moment, from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus died alone; He felt forsaken; but none of us need pass through that terrible experience; for He has said: “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.”
We need not fear what comes after death. The curse and penalty of sin have been put away for ever. “Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again.” That which others call death, we dread no more than sleep. Our bodies lie down exhausted with our long working-day, to awake in the fresh energy of the Eternal Morning, while our spirit is presented before the Presence of His Glory, faultless, and with exceeding joy (Jud_1:24).
O God, may we so trust Thee this day, that, when the day is done, our trust shall be firmer than ever. Then, when our last day comes, and our work is done, may we trust Thee in death and forever, in the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.