The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart;
And devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace;
They rest in their beds,
Each one who walked in his upright way.
Death is rarely seen through this lens. We tend to see death as the end of everything good and something to be dreaded in every respect. Father God does not see it that way. He knows death has been defeated and has become not an end but a passage. For the righteous one, death is a deliverance from the evil he endures on this earth. He is lifted from the struggles, pain, persecution and strife into peace. True peace. Death for the righteous one has been changed from punishment to peace. The work of this earth ceases and the rest of physical death begins. The trauma we call life ends and the rest we call death begins. God alone can transform the most dreaded experience of our days into a passage of rest and peace. He is truly Lord over death and has defeated it in every respect.
Dare we see death through this lens? Dare we live each day above the fear that naturally accompanies death? Could we truly love people with a love based on eternity rather than temporality? Would we take a step of faith and live with the boldness and courage of those who have come to understand and accept this amazing promise of life after death? In order to be who He has called us to be, we must. There is nothing here that should ever be able to consistently distract us from the truth of this promise. He has overcome death and death, far from being a curse for the righteous believer, has become a blessing of peace and rest. How profoundly this truth should impact the decisions we make!
1 Corinthians 15:53-57
For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.