Death is a problem that will not go away. Without eternal hope, death hangs above our heads like a murderous cloud. We can distract ourselves for a time, and act as if death doesn’t loom over us. We can drown out the prospect of death in worldly things, or at least try to. We can explain death away, viewing it as nothingness, or the end of being, and nothing more. But in reality, we know to the core of our souls that there is no solution to death.
That is, except one. Jesus Christ performs the miracle of miracles. He overcomes death—but more than this, he uses death to give us life. Christ turns the worst possible thing that can happen to us into the best possible thing. That which we rightly fear, we rightly dread, we rightly hate, becomes the very passageway to glory. There is one who died but who rose from “the power of the grave.” This single instance births everlasting hope in us; a hope so strong that nothing can overcome it.
Of course, we must still suffer the effects of the Fall. Coming to faith does not mean that we instantaneously escape the consequences of sin, whether Adam’s or our own. Unless Christ returns first, we will die. Our bodies will age and break down, and then our earthly life will leave us. We may face great pain in the terminal process.We may have to endure hardship before we depart this earth. But our hope is Job’s hope. Our confidence is Job’s confidence. Because Christ our Redeemer lives, “we shall live also.” Our chief problem has become the gateway to our chief hope.
If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)
-Owen Strachan, Always in God’s Hands: Day by Day in the Company of Jonathan Edwards, 315.