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R.C. Sproul: Death Does Not Have the Last Word

When the contrast between the first Adam and the last Adam, Jesus Christ, is worked out in the New Testament, we see in the work of Christ the conquest over the last enemy — death. The Puritan Divine John Owen wrote a classic book titled The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Owen was saying that, in Christ’s death, He took upon Himself the curse that is inseparably linked to the punitive measure of death itself. Yet for those who put their trust in Christ, that curse is removed, so that now, for all who are in Christ, death is no longer a curse. Its sting has been removed. The mockery of the grave has been silenced and now death is merely a transition from this life to the next. The contrast that is given in the New Testament is not that this life is bad and the next life is good. On the contrary, the apostle Paul says that this life is good, but to die and to be with Christ is better. So death represents for the believer a gain, indeed, an extraordinary gain.

When we close our eyes in death, we do not cease to be alive; rather, we experience a continuation of personal consciousness. No person is more conscious, more aware, and more alert than when he passes through the veil from this world into the next. Far from falling asleep, we are awakened to glory in all of its significance. For the believer, death does not have the last word. Death has surrendered to the conquering power of the One who was resurrected as the firstborn of many brethren.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.