“Death Is Swallowed Up in Victory!”

Samuel Rindlisbacher

For me, spring has always been one of the most beautiful seasons; truly a season full of wonders! What glory, when the cherry tree starts to bloom. That power, when thousands of petals unfold from a single bud. That elemental force, when new life emerges from a shriveled piece of root and nature clothes itself in the most splendid colors. That’s why spring always reminds me a bit of the resurrection. Paul also refers to this: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (1 Cor 15:42-43).

We now celebrate Easter. It is the time when we consciously remember the events of Calvary: the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This fact is of such vast proportions.

Paul goes a step further in his thoughts and says: “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:54-57). For us Christians, neither death, nor farewell, nor the “winter of life” is the last word, but Jesus Christ the Victor of Calvary!

What a glorious reality it is, what a wonderful confidence, that in our lives there will be something new, a resurrection, a life after death, just as spring brings to mind every year!

As a result, Easter is something like the “initial spark.” For, as Jesus Christ died and is risen, we too will be resurrected, we will be transformed, and we will be with Jesus forever! As a result, we have the wonderful assurance that after our demise, our inner person goes directly to the Lord Jesus. Paul describes this as follows: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall chose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Phil 1:20-23). Paul testifies that his death means instant glory.

This state, however, is not yet final. We obtain it only at the Rapture, which will fulfill what we read about: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess 4:16-18).

And then it finally becomes reality: “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor 15:54-55). Through the Rapture, what was purchased for us at Easter becomes reality: incorruption and immortality with Jesus, in His light. It is revealed that the realm of the dead cannot hold those purchased by the blood of the Lamb, and those who are allowed to experience the Rapture will never feel the sting of death. Easter, what glory, what a foretaste of the coming perfection!

With this in mind, I wish you a blessed Easter.

Midnight Call - 04/2018

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