One of my favourite worship songs of recent years is Stuart Townsend’s ‘See What a Morning’. We’ve been doing a lot of Stuart Townsend’s songs recently, I think our pianist likes him… Anyway. The final verse contains the line;
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered.
But is death really dead?
When we suffer bereavement death is very much alive and real. In fact at times our lives can seem filled with death. CS Lewis says in his reflections on his own grief at the loss of his wife;
It is hard to have patience with people who say ‘there is no death’ or ‘Death doesn’t matter’. There is death and whatever is matters… You might as well say that birth doesn’t matter.
CS Lewis – A Grief Observed.
It’s consequences are real and lasting and painful but for the Christian there is hope mingled with the despair and sorrow. For us death is not punishment for our sins because Christ has already taken care of that, death is our final and ultimate sanctification.
Victory over death, the death of death is promised as a result of Christ’s work. The last enemy.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:22-26
No more death or grief, but that’s for the future. For now we have to deal with death and grief but not as those who are without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Hope doesn’t make death easier to live with, hope will not take away the pain of loss but it gives us a rock to cling to in the storm.