If a man dies will he live again? Is our existence in this world all that there is to life? Do we have nothing to look forward to, but to spend our youth struggling to make a living, to spend our middle years preparing for old age, to spend our old age trying to stay alive, and then to die? If that is all there is, life is indeed a frustrating and futile effort. But, blessed be God, that is not all there is. There is life beyond the grave. Job said, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me" (Job 19:25-27).
I know this, I MUST DIE. This body of flesh must be laid in the grave. I know that I must depart from this body. These eyes must see no more. These hands must work no more. These feet must walk no more. This tongue must speak no more. As much as I have loved and over loved this body, I must leave it to the grave. There it must lie and rot in darkness, as a neglected and hateful things earth going to earth again, water to water, ashes to ashes. This is the fruit and result of sin. But this separation of soul and body will be a welcome relief to me. It will be laying aside a tool when all its work is done. It will be dismissing a servant whose service is no longer required. It will be a separation from a troublesome companion. It will be like taking off a shoe that hurts my foot. It will be a welcome relief. Yes, death is the inevitable end of life in this world. file all must die.
But when this body is in the grave I WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE. Because the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died for me, I know that my soul shall not be cast into hell. Because Christ lives today in heaven as the God-man Mediator, I know that I shall enter into eternal glory. At death, the unbelieving depart into everlasting darkness and torment. But the righteous, those who are redeemed and justified in Christ will enter into life everlasting. "We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Cor. 5:1). For the believer, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The death of a believer is no curse at all. In fact, it is the greatest possible blessing.
And I know this, when our Lord returns in power and in great glory, THIS PHYSICAL BODY SHALL RISE TO LIFE AGAIN. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (I Thess. 4:16-18). Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again. He is coming in power and in great glory. He is coming to destroy his enemies and create a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. And he is coming to claim the bodies of his redeemed ones. So full and complete is our Lord's redeeming work that he will not even allow the decayed body to remain in the earth. He will cause these bodies to live again. Then our redemption will be complete. On the resurrection day, when our Redeemer stands upon the earth we will see him with these very eyes. And when we see him we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is!
When Christ comes and raises your body from the grave, will you see him as your long-expected Redeemer, whom you love and trust? or, will you see him as the Righteous Judge whom you have despised and rejected? May it please the Lord now to give you faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our gracious Savior, our coming King. In him is life everlasting.