June 5, 2014

Trusting Jesus with death means trusting Him with life

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me . . .  (Psalm 23:4)

Every issue and problem in life is resolved in Jesus Christ. This is a bold and all-encompassing statement, but true. Moral issues are easily seen as needing the example of Jesus as well as His life as my power to live righteously, but so also with lesser decisions and those that involve life and death, joy and suffering. When I don’t know what to do or how to think about anything, my answer is in Him. I need to again and always look at His life, but also His death and resurrection.

When I wonder about the end and what that will be like, the Bible tells me my body is like a seed, “sown in dishonor —raised in glory . . .  sown in weakness — raised in power . . .  sown a natural body —raised a spiritual body” and points to Jesus in comparison to Adam, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”

God’s Word says I bore the image of the first man, but I will “also bear the image of the man of heaven” for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” This will happen because “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”

On that day, “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.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” Death has the sting of sin . . . but I thank God for He “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:43–57)

Jesus was crucified, died and was buried, but “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3–9) Because He lives, I know that my greatest puzzle and even greatest fear is solved and conquered. As I read about His return from the grave, I am excited about the prospect of my own life from death.

Last night we discussed the resurrection with friends and how the people in Bible times thought it was nonsense, just as most today respond to this message. Even though medical science has restored those who seemed dead, who has every walked out of a tomb after three days?

But Jesus did, and “He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” (1 Corinthians 15:3–10)

Because I can look to Jesus as the instigator of life (He created all things) and as the One who conquered death and walked out of His tomb, then I can also trust Him to wisely direct me with all problems, perplexities, decisions, events, and everything else in between.

No comments: