1 Corinthians 15: 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has done away with every other ruler and every other authority and power. 25 For he must reign “until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” 26 Death is the last enemy to be done away with. (EHV)
Paul calls death the “enemy.” I know that for some of the people I ministered to, death came as a friend to relieve them of their suffering. An old doctor once told me that years ago, pneumonia was called the “friend of the elderly.” Then he added, “Almost no one dies of pneumonia anymore.” I can remember as a youth my father saying about someone who broke her hip, “She’ll be gone in three weeks.” Why? Because pneumonia would set it.
Is death a friend in the end? No. It is still and always will be an enemy. My father was 91 years old when he died. He had cancer in his colon. My brother spent almost 24 hours a day with him. He went left dad alone for a half hour with instructions not to get out of his chair. Of course, Dad didn’t listen, and he fell. When my brother found him on the floor, my father rapped the floor with his knuckles and said, “Shoot. Now that’s the end of it!” He died within the week. Death is always the enemy and it always will be.
Until Jesus comes again on the last day! Then the last enemy to be destroyed will be death, after Jesus has done away with every other authority and power. Then he will hand the kingdom, the Church which he redeemed by his blood and gathered with his Word, over to the FAther. What a day of victory that will be! And not only for Jesus, but for all of us who share in that victory. No more death or sorrow or crying or pain! Oh, what joy will be ours on that day and forever!
Prayer: Gracious Savior, risen Lord, even so come, Lord Jesus! Hasten that day when you will come and destroy our enemy, death, forever! Until that day comes, Lord, let me live in hope and joy even in the face of death. Amen.