“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55–57, ESV)
On Saturday, I had the privilege of performing my uncle Rob’s funeral. He went home to be with His Savior last week after a long battle with cancer. Even with the knowledge that he now resides in his heavenly home, death still brings sorrow for loved ones left behind. Yet, as the apostle Paul said, we don’t grieve like “those who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Why? Because Jesus has conquered death. When? On the cross and through the empty tomb. What seemed like Satan’s finest hour became his demise.
At the funeral, I shared a story by Donald Grey Barnhouse, which has likely been shared at a thousand others:
I was driving with my children to my wife’s funeral where I was to preach the sermon. As we came into one small town there strode down in front of us a truck that came to stop before a red light. It was the biggest truck I ever saw in my life, and the sun was shining on it at just the right angle that took its shadow and spread it across the snow on the field beside it. As the shadow covered that field, I said, “Look children at that truck, and look at its shadow. If you had to be run over, which would you rather be run over by? Would you rather be run over by the truck or by the shadow?” My youngest child said, “The shadow couldn’t hurt anybody.” “That’s right,” I continued, “and death is a truck, but the shadow is all that ever touches the Christian. The truck ran over the Lord Jesus. Only the shadow is gone over mother.”
Thanks be to God that we are only touched by the shadow!