A Time to Die
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
On Easter Sunday of 2019, this rhetorical question written out by the Apostle Paul became extraordinarily relevant. As many of us were getting ready in our Sunday best to head to church and celebrate the Resurrection, we heard news that churches in Sri Lanka had been attacked. Nearly 300 people died as a result. We were once again presented with the strange contrast of Christianity: as we celebrate life, we simultaneously mourn death.
Yet this is what brings us comfort, that although we mourn, we do not mourn as those with no hope. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, we grieve with hope, and we can say to even the most horrific death, ‘where is your sting’? Paul says in Philippians 1:3, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. In the deepest struggles of life, and even in death, Paul’s joy and desire is for Christ to be glorified.
When we see the world through the lens of eternal life, we are given a new perspective.
This is why James writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3).
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