The GRAND QUESTION: Is there LIFE after DEATH?
May 28 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 13-15
"If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands." (Job 14:14-15)
If there has been one single question that has plagued people through the ages, it is whether there is life after death. Job asked this same question as he contemplated his sufferings (14:14). He believed that death would end his pain (14:13); but then the question was whether it would also end his existence as well? In other places, Job had described death as the “way of no return” (16:22) and the “king of terrors” (18:14). So, it does appear that at times Job did not have a particularly positive outlook as he faced the end of his life!
However, when we read about Job’s perspective on death, we should note that he was less knowledgeable in these matters than God’s people in our current times. It is obvious that he did not have any access to any written portion of Scripture, and he was unfamiliar with the work of Jesus Christ to deliver people from sin and death (Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:20–28). Yet, even without these important truths, Job had a certain confidence that he would see God after death. In fact, his stirring declaration of faith, beginning with the words, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25–27), has provided hope for generations of believers!
Though Job does not know God’s plan of salvation as revealed fully in the New Testament, he has a profound realization of what must be involved in such a plan. He is so close, yet he cannot see that God’s only possible righteous way of atonement will be to accept the complete sacrifice of one who is both God and sinless Man as a substitute for the deserved punishment of sinners (Gen. 22:12). However, Job’s question (“If a man dies, shall he live again?”) is answered with an emphatic “Yes” by the Lord Jesus Christ and the New Testament authors.
Whatever questions about death may have lingered from the days of Job, we know that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to grant eternal life for those who believed in Him: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). In fact, our Lord Jesus Christ has declared: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). For this reason alone in the midst of our grief and mourning, we can actually celebrate over the lives and legacy of our friends and loved ones who have died in Christ.
Our Lord Jesus has promised eternal life to all believers who accept His substitutionary death on their behalf. It is to them that Jesus has promised an eternal life that is free from all tears, sorrow, and pain (Rev. 21:4). So, when it comes to the issue of death, Christian believers have hope concerning their future, and can boldly say this with Apostle Paul: "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15:56-57)