The Good Thing About Death – Psalm 116:15

eternal-life-road-sign“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15, NASB).

With Easter approaching it seems appropriate to be thinking about death. And the good thing about death!

While Easter is the time we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection, we should also remember that the only way human beings enter into eternal life is through the death of the physical body.

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Heavenly Graduation – Revelation 2:17

GraduationCapAndDiploma“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it” (Revelation 2:17, NLT).

The book of Revelation opens with a series of personal messages to the seven churches of Asia. Asia was a Roman province in the geographical area that is now western Turkey. The cities where the seven churches were located were joined by a road system that formed a geographical triangle.

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What Are You Doing With Your Immortality? – I Corinthians 15

will-work-for-god“What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow–you are not sowing the future body, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain. But God gives it a body as He wants, and to each of the seeds its own body…For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality…Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15: 37,53-54,58, HCSB).

Some in the Corinthian church were apparently denying the resurrection from the dead. The Apostle Paul argued that all they believe is in vain if there is no resurrection from the dead: “If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone” (vs. 19).

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Death Wish – Ecclesiastes 7:2-4

thinkingaboutdeath“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4, NLT).

The Teacher had a good understanding about human nature when he penned these words in the book of Ecclesiastes.

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Death Benefit – Psalm 116:15

Grim_Reaper“The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight” (Psalm 116:15, HCSB).

We don’t like to think about death and dying and so we really don’t give it much thought…until we have to!

Death is an uncomfortable subject to discuss, and when we talk about it, we commonly use terms like “tragic” or “untimely,” which gives death an undeserved negative connotation.

To us, death is the Grim Reaper!

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The Good Thing About Death – Psalm 116:15

eternal-life-road-sign“The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight” (Psalm 116:15, HCSB).

While Easter is the time we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection, we are also reminded that just as Jesus died and was resurrected, the only way human beings enter into eternal life is through the death of the physical body.

The Apostle Paul said, “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies” (I Corinthians 15:36).

Now, maybe it sounds morbid to say that death is the way to eternal life, but the fact is, you have to die to live eternally. As human beings, we strive for eternal life and death and resurrection are the means through which we enter into eternal life.

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Death Defeated – Exodus 12:41-42

“In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.” (Exodus 12:41-42, NLT).

The Passover was the major festival associated with the Exodus and the formative event of the Jewish religion.

The Passover was so-named because it memorialized God saving the Israelites from the death of the firstborn by marking their doorways with the blood of the Passover lamb: “For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down” (Exodus 12:23, NLT).

Why did the Passover require the Israelites to apply blood to their doorposts when they were not required to perform such a ritual to escape harm in any of the other preceding nine plagues?

The Passover commemorated deliverance from death, not political independence.

As with all people, Israel’s main enemy was not bondage to Egypt, but bondage to death.

So, God could not simply exempt his people from this plague as he had preserved them from the other plagues.

Death reigned in the world because of sin, and because of God’s justice, sin could not be ignored; it had to be punished or atoned for.

Because blood represented life, it alone was acceptable for the forgiveness of sins. Thus, Passover demonstrated that deliverance from death was only by means of a substitutionary blood sacrifice, the Passover lamb, that took the place of the firstborn son of every family of Israel.

It is significant that Jesus’ death and resurrection were associated with the Passover season.

The Passover symbolized the reality that Jesus Christ gave his life as “a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45) and became “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Through His sacrifice, sin and death were once and for all fully and finally defeated.

Now, God’s judgment passes over those to whom the blood of Christ is applied.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:12, NLT)

Death Wish – Philippians 1:21,23

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” The Apostle Paul says in another place that when those who belong to Christ die, they go immediately to be with God (II Corinthians 5:6-8). Here Paul says that his life in this world is about serving Christ. Paul seems to have a death wish. He says death is an advantage because when he departs this life through death then he goes to be in the presence of Christ. So we pass through death of the physical body on the way to full possession of eternal life, which is obtained through bodily resurrection when Christ returns at His second coming. The place we call heaven is an intermediate and temporary state or place where the Christian’s identity in Christ is preserved by God as he or she is on the way to being resurrected and obtaining full possession of eternal life. Thus, what we are and do in the present life in the body matters because it is preserved by God in heaven when we die and then reaffirmed in the future eternal life when we are resurrected.