I stood at the bedside of a daughter of God yesterday, as she won her battle against cancer.
Only a week earlier, I had been ministering to a family whose husband and father had unexpectedly stepped into his eternal home when he did not survive a heart procedure.
Standing in that room with nurses and the best friend of this sister-in-the-Lord, I reflected again upon the words, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15).
Death is not defeat to the child of God. Yes, we who are left behind are sad and we grieve the loss of a dear friend, a father, a husband who will not be with us for the holidays.
There is significant reason the Apostle Paul said, “Brothers, we do not want you to… grieve like the rest of men, who have not hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIV).
Death does not carry victory and defeat for the child of God the same as it carries for everyone else. When a man or woman receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior the power of death is removed from their life.
The power of death was held by Lucifer, the devil, and by sin. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
The Devil held that power over mankind until Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead (Hebrews 2:14). When Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven, following His resurrection, He sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat of heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father.
He removed the judgment and power of sin and He stripped Lucifer of the power of death.
When a person repents of their sin, receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life, and becomes a Christian these four things occur
1. The blood of Jesus washes their heart from the guilt and judgment of sin; Heavenly Father declares them to justified (just as if they had never sinned)
2. Jesus adopts them as a son or daughter of God
3. He makes them a joint-heir with Jesus Christ; and the same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead fills their life
4. He becomes the earnest of their inheritance.
The child of God has passed from death to life. Sin no longer dictates their identity or their future.
Truly, “death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
So as I stood by the bedside of my sister and as I shared a comforting hug with the wife of my brother it was with the full knowledge and assurance my brother and sister were never more alive than at that very moment.
Death had not won the day. They had stepped from the realm of death into realm of life. They are living where there is no death and where death has never been.
My brother and my sister are fully alive for the first time!
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV)