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Jesus frees us from the lifelong bondage of the fear of death. He became mortal man so that he could die for our sin and destroy, by his death, the one who has the power of death, the devil. Then Jesus rose again triumphant over sin and death.
In this fallen world, God has appointed physical death as a way for Jesus to get his last praise from us here on earth before we enter into endless praise. Christians long to die in such a way that we show Christ to be supremely precious to us.
Our sorrows at the death of a believer are joyful sorrows, and our rejoicing at the death of a believer is a sorrowful rejoicing. Our sorrow is not hopeless, and our joy is not flippant. The joy hurts, and the sorrow is softened with invincible hope.
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14–15)
Sooner or later — and better sooner (before suffering) and later (during suffering) — something must be said to the parents who have lost a child or the siblings who lost a sister. Christians have something to say.
We will magnify Christ in our dying to the degree that we believe that fellowship with him in heaven is more to be preferred than any person or thing in this age.
God’s purpose for us is to raise our bodies from the dead and to make them new, beautiful, healthy, and strong. His final purpose is not to take us away from the earth to spend eternity in heaven, but to make a new heaven and a new earth where we will live in happiness forever.
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