Fear Not Death, O My Soul
Hope In The Resurrection Of Your Body

Job 19:25-27:

25 Now I indeed know that my Redeemer lives, and he, the Last One, will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I will see God, 27 whom I, indeed even I, will see for myself, and my eyes will behold and not some stranger’s. O my heart languishes within my breast!

During our years of life we have seen many spring seasons.  Each spring the seeds that came to life taught us a comforting lesson about the resurrection of our body to eternal life.  The lifeless seeds, which were planted in the ground and then rose up full of life, were a sign of what will happen to our body.  Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 15:35-44: “But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?’ 36 Stupid! What indeed you sow does not give life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow the body that will be but a bare seed whether perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body just as he wished, and to each of the seeds its own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but on the one hand there is one flesh of men, on the other hand another flesh of animals, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 And there are heavenly bodies, and there are earthly bodies; but on the one hand the glory of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and on the other hand the glory of the earthly bodies is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 In this manner also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body; it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in disgrace, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”

The flower seed we plant in the ground is not what rises from the ground.  If what grew up from the ground looked like the seed that was planted in the ground, what an ugly plant that would be!  If all plants were no more beautiful in appearance than their lifeless seeds from which they sprouted, what a dreary, unappealing world they would make!  We would quickly be sick of it and much prefer to stay in bed with our heads under the covers than have to look at it.  What rises from the flower seed that is sown in the ground, however, is a new plant that is full of life.  It is vibrant, delicate, appealing.  It excites our senses.  It produces such gorgeous flowers rich in color that even Solomon in all the splendor of his richly ornamented robes could not begin to compare to their beauty and glory.

So it will be with your body.  Your body that is buried is but the seed of what will rise in the resurrection at the last day.  Due to sin your present body is full of death.  While you are living you are but in the process of dying.  Sin has robbed your body of the beauty and fullness of talents that originally characterized the human body at creation.  When your body breathes its last breath, it will be laid to rest in the ground to return to the dust from which it was created.  But upon it your blessed Lord Jesus will perform the most amazing miracle.  He will raise it back to life.

Jesus said in John 5:28, 29, “Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out – those who have done good deeds to a resurrection of life, but those who have committed evil deeds to a resurrection of damnation.”  Your lifeless body that will be laid in the ground will hear his voice and rise up out of your grave alive!  With your very own eyes you will look yourself over to discover that, while you still have the same body you always had had, it has changed.  It has risen as an unbelievably beautiful, glorified body, radiant and brilliant and full of splendor, shining like the stars, as Jesus’ glorified body does.  It has become an immortal, incorruptible body, never subject to sickness or death or decay again.  You will see that the former state of your body was but a shadow of your glorious resurrected body.  In praise to your Lord you will then sing what is written in 1 Corinthians 15:54, 55: “DEATH HAS BEEN SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”

When facing death, by faith focus your thoughts on this promise and hope of the resurrection of your body to everlasting life and glory.  You will not then fear death any more than you fear trading in your old, worn out jalopy for a new car.  Just as our old car develops squeaks and rattles and fails to perform as it once did, finally giving out all together, so our aging body creaks and cracks and fails to perform like it once did.  Our eyesight dims.  Our hearing fails.  Our bones and muscles ache.  Finally, our body gives out all together and dies.  But through death we trade in our mortal, corruptible body for a renewed, glorified body which surpasses our old body in beauty and performance and splendor.  Given the choice, upon your resurrection you would no more wish to give up your heavenly body in return for your present earthly body than you would desire to desert your new car for the junker that died on you last week.  At death look ahead to the trade you are making: a perishable body for an imperishable one; a mortal body for an immortal one; a foul body for a glorious one.  Then you can look death in the eye and say, “I’m ready for you!  For while you seem to be winning the victory over me now, you will lose.  I will win over you in the end.  My gracious Savior, who has redeemed my body from you, O Death, will raise it up to be more glorious than it had ever been before.”