Wednesday, August 28, 2019

EmmDev 2019-08-28 [A Life of Thanksgiving] What Paul is grateful for #2

What Paul is grateful for #2

One of my colleagues, Rod Botsis, once commented to me that he felt that every funeral he conducted was an act of spiritual warfare - that we proclaim the resurrection in the face of the doubt, fear and darkness that come with the bullying tactics that death uses to intimidate us...

In Graeco-Roman times life was cheap. The Romans had no hesitation to crucify hundreds of men along the roadside to crush a slave-revolt, life expectancy was low and infants could be abandoned in the street simply for being the wrong gender.

Even today we still use a number of euphemisms when talking about death. Some attempt to be humourous, others try to reduce its seriousness or to soften the blow - We are uncomfortable when it comes to talking about terminal illness, death and pain.

But Paul offers powerful hope in the face of death's bullying.
He takes his cue from the physical resurrection of Christ.

  • Perishable becomes imperishable
  • Mortal becomes immortal
  • Death has been swallowed up in victory (Resurrection Life makes death insignificant)
  • Death's sting has been pulled. The "poison sack" on the "bee sting" of death is sin. Sin makes death a separation from God. When Jesus died on the cross, He took our sin. Now the sting of death can be pulled - the poison is gone.

And so Paul is thank-full - we don't have to fear death.
Death is defeated - its sting is pulled - we have victory.

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."
"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.      (Romans15:54-57)