“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” – John 16:33 (NIV)
The world we live in is characterized by many troubles, death being one of those. Death came upon the earth as one of the consequences of Adam’s fall. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). Since then , death has followed mankind, biting the young and old. Of course there are other consequences out of the fall of Adam, like, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life” (vv 17); but none of the punishment meted out sticks like death!
Yet, where there is death, for Christians there is a truth, for through Christ, death has been overcome. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25 ). This is why I Cor 15: 55-57, says, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
One of those striking differences between believers and non-believers is that where there is death, crushing as it may be, for us there is hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-14, says “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
The pain of death was known to Christ who went to comfort Martha and Mary when they lost their brother Lazarus, who in the depth of their misery, reminded them, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
So, in the midst of many deaths, arising from the passing Covid -19 pandemic, we have something to give us comfort, for the Christ we believe in has overcome death. For all the grieving, let us “ encourage one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4: 3:18) of hope, for Christ has made a spectacle of death.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, where there are trials and troubles, including death, I pray that we keep the faith knowing that all has been overcome by our Lord Jesus Christ; this I pray in in your blessed name!