Key Verse: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
Yesterday I attended another funeral service, the second in a matter of two weeks. As much as we try to do to avoid death, the pain of death, and the uncertainty about what awaits us after death, it is the one thing that we can never avoid in this world. Some people even refuse to prepare their wills or attend funerals, to avoid the need to consider their own future. In today’s culture, we do not even talk about death. When someone is dying; we prefer to say they are “battling” an illness. Yet death will always catch up with us, in the loss of a friend, loved one and ultimately our own lives.
It is no wonder we hate death so much since it is foreign to us. God did not create us to experience death. He created us for life and fellowship with Him. Death is a process that came as the result of sin and the fall (See Genesis 3:19). Paul wrote death is the final enemy, “For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).
If you are in Christ, there is no uncertainty in death. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” We are privileged by faith in Christ, to look beyond the chilling experience of death into a better existence.
Paul expressed his “desire to depart and be with Christ,” which he assured would be “far better” than remaining on earth (see Philippians 1:23). The Greek word translated “departure” is significant. It was used as a nautical term for when a vessel picks up anchor and releases its moorings so it can set sail. In a military terminology, the word was also used when an army broke encampment to move on. In the ancient Greek world, this term was used for freeing someone from chains and for the severing of a woven piece from its loom.
In the Bible, death is described as a departure for another place. For the believer, in death, the anchor is lifted, and we set sail for the glorious shores of eternity. There we are promised:
- A better body: (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:)
- A better home: (John 14:1-3)
- A better inheritance: (Romans 8:14-18)
- A better fellowship: (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)