By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19)
Death. It’s always been about death. Sin and all of its fallout is horrific, but through whatever dark places the paths of iniquity may twist and turn, they always end at the same place. Death is the defining scourge of human existence. It was God’s judgment upon the very first act of rebellion and the inescapable sentence of punishment toward every transgressor since (Romans 6:23). It is the thought haunting every man as he lies in the solitude of night, and it is the ill which every cult and religion through the ages has tried to cure. We were never meant to die, and so men have groped desperately to evade its inevitability. Yet it mattered not how deep the blood of sacrifices ran or how elaborate the acts of ritual devotion. Each one failed without exception. Death’s tyranny continued unchallenged. Until Jesus…
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3)
In all of the nations of the earth, from all of the centuries since the flaming sword banished Adam and Eve, there is only one Man who faced death and emerged victorious. Jesus laid down His life as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sin, but it was impossible for Him to stay dead (Acts 2:24). Our great High Priest knew no sin. He is holy, innocent, and undefiled and He rose again according to the power of an indestructible life (Hebrews 7:16, 26). He came forth from the grave once and for all, never to die again (Romans 6:9). This is our confidence. This is our hope. It is not merely an intellectual hope. It is not merely an emotional hope. It is not a speculative hope. It is a living hope because Jesus actually did it and is alive forevermore!
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Hebrews 2:14)
As those who have been joined to the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been set free and the grave has no claim on us! We have been born again and sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of the redemption of our body (Romans 8:23). Just as Jesus was resurrected, our dust will be raised up imperishable and will be conformed to His glorious body (2 Corinthians 4:14, Philippians 3:21).
Let us turn our eyes to the Risen One and behold our victorious King! Let our worship arise as we consider His unique and matchless identity. We will joyfully revel in the hope of His triumph until we see His face.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. (Revelation 1:17-18)