Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.
– 2 Timothy 1:8-11 NASB (emphasis added)
Our peace with God is rooted in our appreciation of His having solved the problem of death.
Death is a problem. No matter how good life on earth can get, it will not continue indefinitely. Everyone knows this. Not everyone thinks seriously enough about death, but everyone knows that death lies in the future…for everyone.
The Bible explains why there is death…and why there is evil. These things are the results of choices made by the first humans, Adam and Eve. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They did it anyway, and thus let sin into the world and all the evils that come with it – including death.
God is love and He was unwilling to let this state of affairs stand forever. In due time, He donned human flesh as Jesus of Nazareth and thus we have the “appearing” spoken of in the passage above.
By rising from the dead after His crucifixion, Jesus “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light.” People had, on rare occasion, been brought back from the dead during Old Testament times. But that’s just it – they were “brought back,” only to eventually die again…for good. Jesus was the first one to ever go forward from the dead into eternal life. Thus Jesus showed what immortality looked like. No one had ever seen it before.
Death was a wall to us…and Jesus kicked it down. There will be no end to our days as there will be no end to His.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, thank You for making a path for us, and showing us what eternity looks like. What will today look like as I look back on it from eternity? Let me live this day accordingly…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.