I had quite a number of opportunities this week to think and speak about death. And as I did so, I found myself drawn to these precious and poetic words from F.B. Meyer in which he reflects on the abolishment of death in the death of Christ. What hope we have in the gospel!
Death is abolished! The wasp struck its sting into the cross of the dying Lord, and lost it there, and is now stingless forever. The poison fang of the viper has been extracted, Goliath beheaded by his own sword. The teeth of the lion have been drawn. And for this reason the apostles always speak of a believer’s death as being but a sleep.
Death is not to be more dreaded than sleep, its twin. In all likelihood we shall be quite surprised when we have passed through the dark portal, that was so slight and easy an experience. We dread it now, because we do not really believe that Christ’s death has made it all so different. If we believed this, it would give us great confidence. But whether we believed or not, we shall find it so.
A step; a moment; a passage across the Bridge of Sighs; a transition from darkness to light; a birth — that is all. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. No moment of unconsciousness or oblivion! The veil rent, the shell broken, the iron gateway passed whilst the light and air of the eternal morning break on the emancipated spirit!