Reading: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Job 19:25–26
As one said once upon his death bed, “To die is not to be lost.” Short is the victory of the grave. Every departed saint may, with a little variation, adopt the triumphant words of our blessed master and say to sickness, say to pain, say to death itself, “Destroy this temple, but at the appointed season, God, to whom it belongs, will raise it up.” This was the language of Job, and Job’s support: “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body,” that is, though my frame be destroyed, and moulder away, one part after another, “yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold”; these very eyes which I now have, shall see him, “and not another’s; though my reins be consumed within me.” He who built the bodies of His people knows and observes every particle of their dust; and will rebuild them more glorious than at first: for if that which was done away, was, in many respects glorious; when it is put together again, to remain forever, will exceed in glory.
When the bodies of God’s elect have slept the time allotted, the Lord will suddenly come to His temples, He Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Of this the ancient Jewish church has as positive assurances given them, as we have under the gospel. As for me, says David, I shall behold thy presence in righteousness, and when I wake up after thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it.”
Death is a long sleep; but, to them who believe it is a sweet sleep, and a safe one: though their flesh sees corruption, it rests in hope, and their dust is precious, for it was ransomed by the blood of Christ, sanctified by the Spirit of God, and is part of the Saviour’s mystical body.
“I had rather be in hell with Christ, than be in heaven without Him.”—Martin Luther
Adapted from Augustus Toplady