Read 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?]”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT)
Apparently there is an old habit in some church traditions of people meeting on the day after Easter Day in order to share jokes. It stems from the idea that God played an enormous joke on Satan at Easter. Satan thought he had won when Jesus was crucified, but God proved he had won when Jesus rose again.
Instead of death and sin having the last word, life and grace had the last word. Satan had been deprived of his victory and God had the last laugh. This doesn’t mean we take death and dying lightly. There is too much pain and grief involved for that sort of thing. But it does mean that for those whose trust is in Jesus death is not the overwhelming reality.
We die, yet we live. We experience loss and yet also hope. We face the fatigue and discomfort of ageing bodies and yet recognise that we are assured of new ones that don’t ever wear out and which reflect our true, best selves.
For followers of Jesus, death is no laughing matter, but neither is it our final enemy. The drama of death is not mere tragedy but has an element of comedy about it as we realise how Satan has been cheated. Death is real, but is not fatal.
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