Death Swallowed up in Victory

(The following letter was written to a friend’s parents who had lost their son in a tragic accident. Names and identifying information have been changed to protect privacy.)

Dear Steve and Jan,

The holiday season is usually a time of carefree celebration but for us and you it is also a solemn reminder of the death of Jim. Death stings harshly. I miss him. But the thing that consoles me is the message of the Bible.

“Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh Death where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15: 54-57

We die because we sin. We break God’s law and He gives us what we deserve. Death is a doorway either to an eternity of living with God or an eternity of dying separated from Him. The victory of Jesus is that He met the demands of God’s law and we pass through the doorway to life.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24

Jim is spending an eternity in heaven rather than hell not because he lived a good life or went to church but because he trusted in nothing else but the work of Jesus to make him right in the sight of God. The sting of his death can only be removed if you trust in Jesus. Only through Jesus can it become a tearful momentary separation rather than a final goodbye.

I don’t write this to be preachy or self-righteous but only because there is nothing else I can say and nothing else I can give you that will deal with the sting of his death. The only salve I know is to point you to Jesus.

In Love, David

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