LENT – WEEK 5 – THURSDAY
LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-56
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. Psalm 118:17
How does it come to pass that one does not see death or taste it when Abraham and all the prophets died, who certainly had the Word of God, as the Jews also maintained? Here we must pay close attention to what Christ actually says and note that He makes a distinction between death in the ordinary common sense and not seeing death or tasting death.
We must all pass through death and die. But a Christian does not taste death or see death, that is, he does not feel death. He is not terrified in the face of death. He enters it quietly and softly, as though he is falling asleep and not dying at all. But the godless man must feel death and be terrified by it eternally.
To taste death means to experience the power and might or the bitterness of death and, indeed, eternal death and hell. God’s Word makes this distinction. The Christian knows this, and it helps him in the hour of death. He does not see heat. He sees nothing but life and Christ in the Word, and so he does not feel death. But the godless man does not have this Word; he has no life, but sheer death. So, he feels death, and eventually this is also the bitterness of eternal death.
With the believer it is all so very different. He knows the Word of Christ: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25,26).
PRAYER: Be with us, dear Lord Jesus, especially in the hour of our death, that, firmly relying on Your promises, we may not taste death but pass through death into life eternal, as You have assured us. Amen.