Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’.
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 (NIV)
Read: 1 Corinthians 15:12-34
Consider: In the previous post we thought about the resurrection and how Paul pointed out that the promise of bodily resurrection for the believer is based on the certainty of Christ’s resurrection. If our resurrection to eternal life is certain, why is it that some people (even believers) are worried about dying? In the UK we no longer hear of someone dying, they are described as having ‘passed’. Of course this begs the questions – what have they passed from and to what? What is their current state? Maybe society thinks of death not as ‘passed’, but as ‘past’ i.e. the person no longer exists. However, this is not how death is seen in the Bible.
In the section of 1 Corinthians 15 we are considering today, Paul reminds his readers that death is only a transition to something glorious. Physical death means that the mortal body perishes, but this is to give way to the immortal, spiritual body. If death is purely a transition, then it should not be feared. This is why Paul can say in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 –
‘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! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In his second letter to the believers in Corinth Paul talks about the spiritual body (2 Corinthians 5:1-10) and is able to say:
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NIV)
Pray: Father, we thank you that although we may be apprehensive about death, we can be confident that what you have planned for us will be glorious, a body that will not be subject to disability, disease and death. Amen