Death's Demise

  Jamma Mokhriby


There is no greater event in the history of mankind than the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Having referred to Jesus' death and resurrection as a single event is not an oversight. The sacrificial death of the Lord on the cross is incomplete without His resurrection.
One can preach of Christ's death on the cross with an endless passion, but without including the fact of His resurrection the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:14 & 17, "...then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain...if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!"
Paul told us straightforwardly that Jesus' death on the cross for the sins of the world would be useless to a believer if Jesus had not risen from the grave. All men can die, but only a sinless man can be resurrected unto eternal life. That is the promise of Christ's resurrection for every believer.
Paul then stated in verse 19-26, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." In our modern vernacular Paul was saying that Jesus didn't pay for our sins with his blood just so we could keep what we have, the status-quo as some might say. He didn't die so that our world of suffering could go on the way it has. If so then pity us all, for we have only a false hope and we are still hopelessly damned in our sins while all the persecutions suffered by Paul and every Christian for their faith is but a cruel joke without the promised reward. The vision of eternal life Jesus gave to believers can only end up one way.
He led the way for the day, "...when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He [Jesus] must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."
Death was pronounced upon the world with the fall of Adam and Even in Genesis 2:17 & 3:6. Nothing ever died before the fall of Adam and Eve. There were no preying insects, no carnivorous animals, no deadly plants, and no killer germs or viruses. There was no pre-Adamic world that died in the distant past, as some falsely teach.
The earth and the cosmos surrounding it are all under the curse of death and it began in the heart of mankind. Corruption and decay ruled until the moment life returned to the lifeless body of Jesus as He lay in the tomb of Joseph (Matt. 27:59-60 & 28:1-6).
Just as death was brought into the world through a man, so too was its defeat to be accomplished by a Man that could cast off its claim upon Him through sin.
We are told in I Corinthians 15:21-22, "For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." By the failure of mankind's original father, sin became the permanent nature of all of his children and so too death. Through the new birth in the sinless, resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, a sinless nature beyond death's grasp is in like manner forever imparted to God's immortal offspring (Acts 17:28).
Paul made known by his writings that the dark nature of the world he once knew had forever, by Jesus' victory, been set on a course of change that would outshine anything that had ever been.
A part of God died to purchase and perfect mankind. With Christ's resurrection, man and all of creation has been set on an irreversible path of redemption and exaltation. The day is coming when death will no longer be found, and all of creation will forever abide in wondrous joy in the presence of the glory of God.
Speaking of His time in the tomb which would pass between His death and resurrection, Jesus told us in Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
It is significant that Jesus did not cut short, nor extend His time in the tomb. In II Peter 3:8-9 the Apostle wrote, "But beloved, do not forget this one things, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
By the Word of God penned by the Apostle Peter, three thousand years is as three days to the Lord. Considering these Scriptures in light of their prophetic significance we can understand why death is still taking place and will be the last enemy to be destroyed by God. The Lord has foreseen the souls that will come to Him for salvation and knows all the time that will need to pass for them to be born into the world.
For three days Jesus allowed death to have its hold on Him and it has been almost two thousand years (or 2 days from God's perspective) since that incomparable event took place in 33 AD.
People of every nation have been coming to the knowledge of salvation in Jesus Christ during this time in perfect harmony with the prophetic picture given in John 4:40-43.
We are told in this passage that for two days Jesus stayed with the Samaritans before returning His attention back to the Jews. During those two days we are told in verse 41, "and many more believed because of His [Jesus'] own word."
Since the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, mankind in this day has been treading about on the edge of the close of the 2nd day when the Lord will once more direct His full attention to the Jews during the Tribulation Period.
This equally divided 7 year period is to close out the present age. Halfway through those 7 years, according to Revelation 11:15, Jesus Christ will begin His reign and the close of the second day will arrive.
The Prophet Hosea spoke of this time period between Christ beginning to reign from the heavens until He returns to the earth at the close of the great tribulation as the time of Israel's revival in Chapter 6:2 of the Old Testament book that bears his name. The prophet then goes on prophesying in the third person for Israel by writing, "...on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight."
After Israel's faith in the Lord has been revived through the trials of the great tribulation, those that have died during the Tribulation Period and all Old Testament dispensation believers will be raised from the dead as part of the first resurrection which began with Jesus and those that had been raised since. These will go on to live and multiply upon the earth in the sight of the Lord during God's third day of a thousand years.
It will be a time of incredible peace and joy, but Death will still have its place among creation as is confirmed in such millennial prophecies as Isaiah 65:20. Just as death was not conquered by the Lord Jesus until after 3 days had been completed, so likewise Death will not be laid hold of and face the eternal fire of Gehenna until after God's third day of a thousand years is completed.
Mankind cannot yet begin to conceive of Death as being a tangible entity that can be laid hold of and tossed into a fire like a piece of coal, but it was not that long ago that men could not even dream that light and time could be slowed down and even brought to a stop. Yet these discoveries of physics, that at one time would have been considered impossible, have gone from fiction to theory, to demonstrations of reality.
Thus, if received by faith, we are enlightened of the reality in Revelation 20:7-15 that after God's third thousandth year day since Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem mankind from sins and to put an end to Death, Death and Hades (that is, Hell) are to be cast into the Lake of Fire along with all the unrighteous dead who will be judged at that time.
Quoting verses 14-15 we read, "Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second Death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." And in Revelation 21:4 we read, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
Since the time of Jesus' resurrection until the day of Death's demise creation has been witnessing the stages of the first resurrection as is written of if I Corinthians 15:22-23.
First was Jesus, then there were the saints immediately after His resurrection (Matt. 27:52-53), then next will be every member of the Church before the Tribulation Period begins at the glorious catching up to heaven of believers at the Rapture (I Thess. 4:15-18).
Both the living and dead in Christ will be changed into immortal, glorified beings when Jesus calls them up to meet Him in the air on their way up to heaven. They are the general assembly and church of the firstborn in heaven written of in Hebrews 12:23. They are the offspring of God, perfected and delivered from sin and death in the likeness of Jesus as declared in Colossians 1:18.
For this reason we are told of them in I Corinthians 15:51-55, "Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [Christian death], but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall all be changed. For this corruptible mut put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
All of this and blessings beyond measure are every believers because God, our Great Maker, Who loves us with an everlasting love, died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the grave (see Isa. 9:6, Jn. 1:10, Gen. 1:1 & Col. 1:13-20).
This moment you can receive forgiveness for all your sins by simply believing in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and being like the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:9-10, " found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection..."