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Thursday, September 12, 2002

Edifier du jour-1 Corinthinians 15:51-57(NASB)
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 51 is a fun verse to put on the wall of the church nursery. Think about it. I have a mid-80's James Ward tape Good Advice, long out of print, that has a song, Death Has Ended, based on this passage. The chorus went "Death has ended. It's ended. It's swallowed up in victory." This isn't to say that we don't die, but the power of death has ended. Sin has been rendered moot to the believer by Jesus at Golgotha. Once we realize that, we can light up one of Red Auerbach's victory cigars, for Satan's game is in garbage time. The game is still going, but the final outcome's been decided. Turn out the lights, Satan, the party's over. We have a immortal spirit coexisting with a mortal body, a butterfly trapped in a caterpillar’s body. We are being transformed by the Holy Spirit, so that we can live and thrive in the heavenly spirit realm when we die. If I could use that butterfly analogy, our life as a believer is the pupal stage, where the old, ground-crawling caterpillar self dies and is transformed into a creature who can take to the air of the spirit realm. The caterpillar has to "die" in the process, yet it lives. We're in a pupil stage, where we are learning the ways of God, but also in a pupal stage, being transformed into a spirit critter. It seems hard to figure how a creature can have two such distinct lives, but we're created to be with God yet be mortal at the same time. Tadpoles turn into frogs. Caterpillars turn into butterflies. Humans turn into spirit critters. Hallelujah!

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