From Tragedy To Triumph

If a man dies, will he live again?
–Job 14:14

You may have seen the documentary that came out last year entitled “The Case for Heaven.” It was based on a book by my friend and best-selling author, Lee Strobel. In an interview, Lee explained the impetus for the book: he had a brush with death that made him acutely aware of what really matters in life. He said, “I lingered between life and death there for a while. . . . But it was a very clarifying experience because when you’re in that situation, nothing is more important than what really happens after we close our eyes for the last time in this world.”

Easter is not about spring renewal, family, or daffodils. Easter is the answer to life’s most important question–the same question Job asked four thousand years ago: “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14). When I close my eyes for the last time here on earth, do I enter an eternity of nothingness, or do I enter a different existence beyond the grave? And if there is something for me beyond the grave, how do I prepare for it right now?

The best answer I know to that question is found in 1 Corinthians 15. If I were going to title this chapter, it would be “Everything You Have Ever Wanted to Know about the Resurrection but Were Afraid to Ask.” In this detailed chapter, Paul talked about the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ as well as the future resurrection that all of us who know Christ will share in. Then beginning in verse 50, he described the final victory the resurrection will bring.

But before he talked about the final victory, Paul acknowledged the democracy of death. Everybody is going to experience death. In his book “Death and the Life After,” Billy Graham noted that media accounts about tragedies can be misleading. We get the idea that wars, epidemics, and famines somehow increase the death rate. No, the death rate is fixed for every generation. We are all going to die.

The Bible does not gloss over the reality of death. Somebody has noted that the first book of the Bible, Genesis, ends with a coffin. The first real estate transaction in the Bible was for a plot of land to bury a loved one. Time after time in the first five books of the Bible, you find the words “And he died.” Everybody dies. Have you come to grips with that fact? Most of us live our lives as if we are not going to die, but we are. Death comes to everyone.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “From Tragedy To Triumph” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.

Jeannie Ortega Law, “Lee Strobel Investigates Near Death Experiences in ‘The Case for Heaven’ Film,” Christian Post, April 2, 2022, https://www.christianpost.com/news/lee-strobel-investigates-near-death-experiences-in-the-case-for-heaven.html; Billy Graham, “Death and the Life After” (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2011), 2-3.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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