Links Daily Devotional

The Source of Our Grief and Its Relief

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. (1 Corinthians 15:21, NIV)

I know where my inconsistent play comes from: inconsistent practice. It’s hard to build a decent game from the chair at my computer or the couch in front of my TV. Even if I’m watching golf, I can’t expect to improve without application. Thus, when it comes to bad shots, I am the source of my own trouble.

When it comes to death, however, we can’t always say we bring this on ourselves. Oh sure, the papers are full of sorry examples of people who pave their own way to the other side, sometimes by plain stupidity, other times by gravely ill choices. But these are not the most common forms of death. What happens to most of us is a slow deterioration of our bodies, increasing sickness or injury, and a decline unto the end. It’s grievous in its outworking and grievous in its result. But it is the way of all men, we’ll say, in due course after the way of the first man.

You see, God in his Word pulls no punches. Death came through one man, Adam. He was told in the beginning, “Eat from this tree and you will surely die.” He ate, he died, and so then have nearly all who have followed after (with the apparent exceptions of Enoch and Elijah).

We can grumble about this and cast blame on Adam. But we know truth. If it hadn’t been Adam’s sin that had ruined it all, it would have been the next guy’s. We all have sinned, bearing equal guilt.

Gladly for us, however, we do not need to live in constant grief at the loss of our loved ones or the expectation of our own passing. Not, that is, if we have attached ourselves to the resurrected man, to Jesus.

It is easy to forget sometimes how pivotal the doctrine of the resurrection is. Paul had no doubts, though. And when the apostle worked his way toward the end of his long letter to the Corinthians, he took up the matter of new life—Jesus’ new life, witnessed by several hundred people in the weeks after his crucifixion, and our new life, the one we are offered only because he is resurrected and can possess only by placing our faith in him.

Jesus was the perfect man. At the end of his days, because of his sin, Adam returned to the dust. But Jesus was raised to life, ending the grip of death. Our only chance at eternity is to be raised with him.

Jeff Hopper
April 20, 2015
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