(Part 3/3 – A summary of the Sunday morning teaching on 05-Apr-15, in AFT Church, English service.)
2) JESUS BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY
Well… there is good news. A breakthrough happened when 2000 years ago, Jesus died on the Cross and rose again on the third day. Jesus vanquished death.
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
People aren’t bothered by the certainty of death but by the uncertainty of what happens after their death. The sting of death is in the fact that they are unworthy and sinners before God. The Bible says that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’. People are afraid that the Bible may be true and there might be an enteral punishment. If death was the end of everything, then for some people death would be better than life. But death can’t be a better option. There will be a judgment after death; and that is terrifying.
The law says that we must be punished for our sins. God hates sin. He has announced that the punishment of sin is eternal death and suffering.
Jesus knew about the sting of death that comes from sin. He took the sin of man on Himself; the punishment for those sins was placed on Him. When He died on the Cross, the wrath of God was poured out on Him. The chastisement of our peace was laid on Him. Every wound that Jesus received was the wound that we should have received. Because of what Jesus did for us, we have been made righteous. When a Christian dies, the sting is not there because our sin has been dealt with. We can stand before God confidently. Our sins have been swallowed up in the works of God’s grace.
Further, Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf. There won’t be any accusation against us. When a Christian dies, he closes his eyes on earth and opens them in Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says ‘Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.’ For a believer, death is sleep. When we lay down to sleep, we have an expectation of waking up. If there is night, there will be a day. When we believers in Jesus die, we close our eyes with the expectation of waking up one day. Waking up includes receiving incorruptible bodies. The Bible says that Jesus has brought life and immortality.
God, who made Adam out of the dust, will restore to us our body. We can be certain about that because Jesus Himself was resurrected not just spiritually but bodily too. If He hadn’t risen up bodily, our faith would have been useless. Jesus told Thomas to touch Him and feel His wounds. For 40 days after His resurrection Jesus appeared before people in His body. Resurrection has indisputable witnesses. Therefore we will also be resurrected one day. We will receive an incorruptible body. John describes the glory of the Resurrected Jesus in Revelation. We will have a similar body that will live forever.
‘…who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
-2 Corinthians 5:1
Our bodies are temporary houses. We will have an eternal house one day. How can we have this hope? How can we derive comfort and consolation when someone passes away? The Bible says that when we see Him, we will be like Him. Our destiny is not the grave but to be like Jesus.
So when we are in trouble let us look at the broad picture. Let us remember that we were in God’s plan long before the beginning of time. God has brought us thus far; He will take us till the end. Even if this world is blown up, we will one day be alive and have a better body than this. We receive this hope from the Resurrection of Jesus.