September 4

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52in 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. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When 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."

Many in the early church began to worry about those believers who had died. (Sleep is a metaphor for death as in John 11.) They expected Christ to return before they died, just as many believers today have the same good expectation. Paul reassured them that when Christ returned, the dead would rise first and be given resurrection bodies. This was going to take place at the last trumpet. Some relate this to the last trumpet in Revelation, others to the last trumpet that called the Israelites to break camp and move during the wilderness wanderings.

We will be changed in a flash. Our mortal bodies will be transformed into immortal ones that can stand before the presence of our glorious God. Every believer's soul and spirit will receive an incorruptible body similar to our Lord's resurrected body. In this life we age and decay so that we will long for our new heavenly bodies. It helps us break our ties with this earth and long for heaven.

Then we will experience victory over death. The victory Christ won for us will be evident in everything. We are journeying through this world in which the victory that Christ has won is not fully manifested. One day it will be manifested in our new bodies as well as our transformed souls. We physically ache with health conditions and spiritually ache because of sin. The victory of Christ will swallow up death. All the fruits of sin will be swallowed up by this victory. Do you see how glorious that Day will be?

Meditation: No wonder we are to long for it and pray, "Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!"