Asleep in Jesus
Even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. - 1 Thessalonians 4:14
Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. "Today you will be with me in paradise" is the whisper of Christ to every dying saint. They sleep in Jesus, but their souls are before the throne of God, praising Him day and night in His temple, singing hallelujahs to Him who washed them from their sins in His blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass.
But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is "rest," and that is the thought that the Spirit of God would convey to us. Sleep makes each night a sabbath for the day. Sleep shuts tight the door of the soul and bids all intruders wait for a while, that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child when it slumbers on its mother's breast.
Happy are they who die in the Lord; they rest from their labors, and their works follow them. Their quiet repose will never be broken until God shall rouse them to give them their full reward. Guarded by angelic watchers, curtained by eternal mysteries, they sleep on, the inheritors of glory, until the fullness of time shall bring the fullness of redemption.
What an awaking will be theirs! They were laid in their last resting place, weary and worn, but they will not rise in that condition. They went to their rest with furrowed brow and wasted features, but they wake up in beauty and glory. The shriveled seed, so devoid of form and beauty, rises from the dust a glorious flower. The winter of the grave gives way to the spring of redemption and the summer of glory. Blessed is death, since through the divine power it removes our working clothes and dresses us with the wedding garment of incorruption. Blessed are those who sleep in Jesus.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Joshua 1
verse 2 Psalms 120:121, 122
Name above All Names
By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson
Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the diversions of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.
In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the whole sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and ministry:
- Jesus as the True Prophet
- Jesus as the Great High Priest
- Jesus as the Conquering King
- Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
- Jesus as the Son of Man
- Jesus as the Suffering Servant
- Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne
Name above All Names helps us to see and meditate on the incomparable character of Christ—a spiritual exercise that enables us to readily respond to the exhortations of Scripture, to focus our gaze upon the King of kings, and to better understand just how great Jesus really is.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.