That’s Gonna Leave a Mark – (but not for long)

Writing and journaling has been a true blessing in my personal grief journey. So when another blogger announced a “grief writing challenge,” I decided to join in. The gist of the challenge is to read, copy, and reflect over a different scripture passage for the next thirty days.

Here we are at day one and the passage is challenging – no pun intended.

Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-57

On the surface, the passage is somewhat straightforward. Paul was trying to help the early Christians wrap their heads around the physical transformation that must take place to our mortal bodies before entering into heavenly eternity. And, Paul is sharing a truth about the changes to take place that were not previously revealed in scripture. In other words, he’s revealing a mystery.

From a spiritual perspective, the details of this mystery are fascinating. From a grief perspective, however, the devil is in the details precisely because there is still so much mystery to be revealed. The passage begs the question – how does mapping out the minutiae of the mystery ease today’s suffering?

Even if we could wrap our heads around all of the ins and outs of the second coming – knowing these details would not bring our loved ones back today. A keen understanding of the mystery is not a get out of this world pain-free card.

So where is the comfort? For me, the comfort comes in what we can and do know. The comfort comes more so in the simplicity of the scripture than the mystery.

Simply put – we know for certain is that death loses. 

Death has been swallowed up in Christ’s victory.

Yes, death has a sting. It hurts. It leaves a mark. Does it ever leave a mark!

The mark is temporary. It won’t last. It isn’t fatal. It wounds but does not have the power to crucify.

Thanks be to God – Christ has conquered death’s sting. Christ’s victory over death is OUR victory over death.

When we stand in Christ’s victory – nothing can separate us from God. Nothing can block our path to God’s eternal kingdom.

This reassurance actually gives me hope and provides me comfort knowing that death cannot separate me from Brooke or any of my loved ones forever.

Does this passage give you hope for your circumstances? Why? Why not? Does the unraveling of the mystery comfort you or distract you?

Dear Father, thank you for claiming victory over sin and death. Your victory through your son, Jesus Christ, provides us all a path to eternal peace. When we claim your victory, your shield becomes our defense against death’s sting. Help us to look past the marks left on this world by sin and death. Help us to view death’s (temporary) sting through the eye’s of YOUR victory. This we pray through your son, Jesus. Amen!

SDG

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