Death Is an Enemy & a Servant
Title: Death Is an Enemy & a Servant
Reading for June 14: Psalms 50-55
Weekly reading for June 10-16: 1 Corinthians 1-6
For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
This is a comforting passage. It's become a favorite that I like to use when preaching the funeral of a Christian. I like it because it tells us that death is a servant to those who belong to Christ. Just as Paul and Apollos are servants that the Lord gave to his people, death is a servant for God's people.
Ironically, death is pictured as both an enemy and a servant in this letter. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26), but it is an enemy who has been stripped of his power. Paul taunts death saying, "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). Death can do no harm for those of us who are in Christ. We have gained victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:57). It is as if death has been brought back by Christ, the conquering general, as a captive of war; a conquered enemy who has become a slave forced to serve us.
As our servant, he gives us what we desire the most. It's like we're waiting in a restaurant with an empty stomach craving a delicious meal. As we eagerly anticipate our feast, death approaches us as our waiter bringing us tasty food.
It's like we're in a cramped airport anxiously wanting to leave and go home. Death would be the airplane to take us home. "We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6) Death serves us by taking us away from our mortal bodies to be with the Lord.
Thank you, Father, for giving us the victory over death through our Lord Jesus Christ!