Today’s Reading: Isa 25:1–26:21, Luke 9:1–27, Job 6:1–13
Today’s Theme: Death Defeated
Today’s theme is about God defeating death, death is swallowed up in the life of God, seen most clearly in the resurrection Jesus Christ.
Death will suffer an ultimate defeat at God’s hands in the world to come and as believers we already have eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus. We will look at how the principles of resurrection life over death and the coming resurrection have an impact on our life and service as well as a final word to those going through depression.
The final enemy death will be defeated, Hallelujah!
Death swallowed up
He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:8 (ESV)
Isaiah beings today’s reading by praising God as his own personal God and the one who makes plans from eternity past and brings them to pass now, the one who is a stronghold for he poor and needy.
God will swallow up death forever, that means death will meet its own death and it will be permanent. God is life and his life and light will swallow up the darkness and pain of death for all eternity.
The Resurrection of Jesus was the beginning of death’s defeat, we rejoice that we have eternal life in Jesus now and that his resurrection is the core of our faith and points to death’s ultimate defeat in the kingdom to come.
We are not God and so cannot give death its final blow but we can emulate him, we see the heart of our God in verse 4, he helps the poor, needy and distressed, if we do this, we in a temporal sense swallow up death with light and love. Reaching out in Jesus name will bring life.
The Peace of God
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
Peace seems elusive to so many today, peace often unwittingly is sought in career, family, religion, recreation and ourselves but we cannot find peace in any of these place.
Everything in our fallen word is tainted with the decay of death, there is no firm ground for man to stand on, no institution, achievement or philosophy.
The peace that man seeks can only be found in God.
Jesus said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
In commenting on this verse J. N Oswalt says “For our mortality, short-sightedness, and weakness, we receive in exchange God’s immortality, omniscience, and omnipotence. That is security.”
And that is the point God’s peace give us firm ground to stand on, security, a place where we can place all our hope and trust and therefore have peace.
The resurrection will come
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. Isaiah 26:19 (ESV)
We look forward to the day when the resurrection comes, it is an actual event in the future that we hope in. 1 Corinthians 15:12–15
One day we will be called from our graves and receive new bodies in Christ, the lost will also be raised but only to be judged.
The hope of the resurrection should fill our hearts with joy and praise and help motivate us to live as we ought to before God. 1 John 3:3
Death is not the end
Power over decay
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, Luke 9:1 (ESV)
Death brings decay both spiritually and physically. Jesus gave the disciples power over death in the sense that the decay of disease could be cured and the spiritual disease brought by demons were subject to them.
This is true for us as disciples today too, we have the power to preach the gospel to subdue the power of the enemy and to see physical bodies healed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The power we have through Jesus is life in the middle of death and light in the middle of darkness.
Jesus is full of life
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. Luke 9:16–17 (ESV)
This is an actual event, Jesus really did this, we should pause for a minute and stand in awe of that. We also see a principle here that is in line with today’s theme. Jesus is full of life.
Jesus is so full of life that the simple food in his hands multiples by a miraculous act of God to feed over 5000 people.
The Life of Jesus brings growth and multiplication, his life in us will bring fruit which is why he is very bold in saying a good tree will have good fruit.
If the life of Jesus is flowing through us we will see growth and fruitfulness in our lives, others will be fed and God will be glorified.
Lose your life to find it
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Luke 9:23–24 (ESV)
Jesus has just been confirmed to the disciples as the Christ of God, the Messiah. He then explains that he will be killed but will rise, now he calls the disciples to do the same.
We must deny our own selfish pleasure and instead take up our cross (you will know what this is for you) and follow Jesus.
Jesus teaching is plain and points to the reversal of death and life that his resurrection brings. The only way to save our life, to escape the second death (hell) is to lose our lives, lose our rights as it were and commit ourselves in total abandon to the Lord, this is the pathway that lead to life.
Only in dying to the flesh can we live to the Spirit. It is only through death that new life can come. Die to live today.
Dealing with depression
that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! Job 6:9 (ESV)
Job is clearly depressed and now his thoughts turn to the apparent escape of death and just fall short of suicidal thoughts, he ask that God would kill him.
In Christ there is hope, if you are going through depression today do not look to death for its cold embrace, look to the one who has life in himself and will give you life and comfort, look to Jesus.