When Jesus’ body stopped functioning on the cross, His spirit and soul were set free from their earthly confines. He fulfilled prophecy by His body remaining in the tomb for three days, while His spirt and soul set the captives free (Matthew 27:50; John 2:19; 1 Peter 3:18-19; Luke 23:43; Ephesians 4:8; Psalm 68:18).
But after the three days, Jesus burst the tomb wide open with the dynamite power of His Holy Spirit (Matthew 27:54). Jesus assures us that He is the resurrection and the life, and those who believe in Him will never die (John 11:26).
When we shed our shroud of humanity (2 Corinthians 5:1), we will continue to be present with the Lord throughout eternity (2 Corinthians 5:8). Now, there are three ways that this may occur:
- We may be translated into Heaven like Enoch and Elijah.
- Or possibly, our body will cease to function and our spirit and soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices – will go to be with Jesus
- Or we will be counted among the number that will rise in the “rapture” and meet Jesus in the air.
The body is just a shell of our existence. Our true self is contained in our soul and spirit. Yet, we spend millions of dollars to preserve this body throughout our lifetime. When we realize that our identity is not dependent upon our body, we are set free (John 8:36).
Authentic Believers never actually die. Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in God’s presence. He sets us free from the pain, grief and suffering in this life, and gives us a glorified, immortal body (Revelation 21:4).
At this same time, our spirit and soul unite with this new body, and we will forever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We look forward to every opportunity on this earth to minister in God’s service, but we look forward to eternity as well.
Father God, if we gratefully receive Your gracious presence into our spirit, we enjoy a spirit-filled life walking in Your perfect plans for us each moment of our day. If we reject Your free gift of salvation, we condemn our self to an eternity in the torment of a lake of never-ending fire (John 3:18; Revelation 20:15).
At salvation, we are no longer our own, but are bought with the price of the shed blood of Your perfect Lamb, who takes away all of our sins (John 1:29). We cherish the thought of serving You in eternity with all of Your Saints from all of the ages.
Thought for the Day:
At Salvation, this world is no longer our home, our citizenship is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20), and Christ lives in us and through us from this point on into eternity; to live on this earth gives us opportunities to serve for the glory of God (Philippians 2:21); but to leave this earth is to our advantage.