1 Corinthians 15:54. “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immorality, then the saying that has been written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.'”
Last April Great Grandma Thomson went home to be with the Lord. After a long, fruitful life she cast aside her 99 year old body to receive a new and perfect body. Having spent my whole life in her presence and influenced by her godly ways, I was privileged to be by her side when her soul left this world and entered the presence of the Lord. One of the thoughts that went through my mind when her hand went limp and I knew she was gone was, “DEATH, YOU DO NOT WIN!” Why would I think that at the moment of her departing? It was because I had memorized today’s verse and God brought it to my mind in my sadness.
In March of 1930, when Henrietta Speirs was 16 years old, she was invited to a “cottage” meeting at her friend Ruth’s house. While attending the party she met a handsome young man who caught her fancy. His name was John Thomson. John also had eyes for her and, as the story goes, he asked his brother-in-law to take his date home so that he could walk Henrietta home instead. That night he asked her to go with him the following Friday evening to the Newark (NJ) Gospel Mission where he was going to be the speaker. She agreed, and that weekend accompanied him. While there, she listened to the gospel message. God spoke to her heart and she realized she was a sinner. Romans 6:23 made it clear: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” That night Great Grandpa led her to Christ. She believed and accepted the gift that God had offered.
Eighty-three years later as I watched what the world would consider the saddest moment in a person’s life, I knew that what she had done all those years before made the difference in the circumstances now. Death could never win because it was swallowed up in victory when she accepted Christ’s payment for her sins on the cross of Calvary. He died, but then defeated death when He rose from the grave to give her eternal life.
This victory over death is available to all who put their faith and trust in Christ. Jesus says in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whosoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Who will win when you draw your final breath? Put your faith in Jesus and, like Great Grandma, death will be swallowed up in victory.