Sunday, December 17, 2017

From the Heart: Life After Death

October 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Articles, Devotional, From the Heart

READ Psalm 16

In this Psalm David rejoices that the life God gives cannot be canceled by the grave. But generally speaking, the Old Testament offers little insight into life after death, but here David’s faith carries him to a deeper understanding. The apostles Peter and Paul understand this psalm as prophesying about the resurrection of Jesus. (See Acts 2:25-28, 13:35-37). Because of the resurrection of Jesus, David and “all God’s people will come to a new life in him.

People have always wanted an answer to the question; “What happens to you after you die?” and the Psalmist were no different. They lived in an age without effective medicine, in an age when wars were fought hand to hand. Dead bodies were a familiar reality. Yet death, however familiar, remained mysterious and frightening.

The Israelites called the dark and shadowy place where dead people go “Sheol.” When you got there, your life seemed thoroughly finished. The psalmists emphatically did not want to go there, and they ask God when praying for his help, what possible good there might be in death. “Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?” (Psalm 88:12) Sheol was the great leveler: it meant the end of plans, of worship, of a relationship with God (Psalm 30:9; 146:4). The dead were found there, not the living.

Yet many of the psalms seem to understand “God’s Power Over Death.” They reveal a happier view, that God’s authority is unmistakable. He holds the key that unlocks the mystery of the grave. Only God can redeem a person from there. (Psalm 49:7-9, 15). God will not let his Holy One see decay, speaking of the resurrection of his son Jesus. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too can now pass from death to life eternal, in the presence of the Lord. (Rev. 21:1-5).

Psalm 17:15, And I — in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

PRAYER:

Holy Father, as I write these words tonight I am remembering a good friend of mine. She is 96 years old and her life is slowly slipping away as her body begins to turn itself off. Father, I have prayed with her many times now and she clings to you as we speak together. Now Father, please bring her peace and comfort knowing that when she sleeps in death she will awaken to see your Holy Face for you alone can redeem our souls. Bless us all now Lord that we might remember you daily, that you might remember us eternally.

In Jesus Holy Name, AMEN!

 

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