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Communion Meditations (2016)

If A Man Dies

Originally scheduled for October 30

"If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes.

(Job 14:14)

 

It is the question questions: will he live again? The question is a universal one, for all of us are appointed a time to die. You’ve seen it at funerals many times, I suspect. Those who are closest to the deceased are asking themselves, “Will I see her again?” We long for the fellowship, love and companionship that we once had, and wish to have again. Those less connected are asking the question, “what happens when I die? What happens to the ’me’ — the soul — at death?” Countless funerals have come and gone, and the questions remain unanswered by the casket being lowered into the ground.

It is extremely fortunate for us that we have, in Christianity, the one example which might answer this question. Several people have been raised from the dead; Lazarus, for instance, is one. It seems, however, that these few people did not take good notes. But our Lord Jesus also rose from the dead — and he was the one who called the shot before it happened. He is the one who knows. When he rose from the dead it is obvious that he had a body. In some sense that body was different than the one we have now, for he seemed to have little regard for walls and locks. On the other hand, it was a physical body, as Doubting Thomas found out by putting his hands in the side and the nail holes. Jesus is the one person who has “been there, done that.”

So, what does the only living expert on the subject have to say? He tells us quite explicitly that the faithful Christian will rise from the dead, in the new body rather than the old one. When will this happen? He tells us this will happen when he returns. He explicitly tells us that he will bring with him those who have slept in Christ. All the saints of the ages will join him in that return.

Until that time, he has commanded us to take Communion. We are to do so “until he comes again.” This is to be a reminder to us.

·         It is to be a reminder of the price he paid.

·         It is to be a reminder of the salvation we have gained.

·         It is to be a reminder of the fact that He is returning soon.

As you partake today, then, remember the price he paid for your salvation and the promise he has given: you will rise with him in glory. As Job put it:

"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. "Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!

(Job 19:25-27)

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