Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Live long and live well, but don’t fear death.”
Recently I lost a good friend to cancer. J.D. was one of the leaders in our church. He served on our Church Council and was therefore one of my closest advisors, one of the men I turned to for help in thinking through difficult situations.
For two long years J.D. fought lung cancer. He loved life and he lived it fully, and he was determined to fight the cancer as long as he could. He tried every treatment they offered, he did his part to stay as healthy as he could for as long as he could, and he milked every ounce of joy from every day that he had on this earth. But he was also at peace and ready to die whenever the time came. J.D.’s faith was strong and he was ready for eternity. Therefore, as he approached his death, he did so with courage and dignity – just as I have seen so many other Christians do.
It’s interesting to me that we’re approaching the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in the week leading up to Easter. During a time when so many people are living in fear of death, we’re celebrating the fact that Jesus defeated death. And because He defeated death, so can we. That’s what Paul was writing about in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. In John 11:25-26 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Just as my friend J.D. did, we should do everything we can do to stay as healthy as we can for as long as we can. We should also resolve to live fully and to live well every day that the good Lord allows us to go on living. However, we don’t need to fear the prospect of dying. Although the actual process of dying can be unpleasant, the moment this body ceases to function your spirit is released and you are instantly in the presence of the Lord. You then enter into an eternity that is better and more glorious than you can possibly imagine.
By all means, live long and live well. But don’t fear death. If you belong to Jesus there’s no need to fear it.