READ : Philippians 1:19-27
My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (v. 23)
There are those who minimize the belief in life after death. They would have us imagine there is no heaven. Live this life to the fullest, they say, and be satisfied. And we wonder sometimes, would that be so bad?
It is important to see that as a matter of fact it would alter the nature of life profoundly. Consider, if death were the end—
Life would be a steady descent, not a long ascent, a growing sadness, not a deepening joy, an ultimate tragedy, not a great adventure.
God’s love would be inferior to our love. Our love would not, had it the power, permit death to claim those precious to us. The wailing siren of an ambulance gives eloquent testimony to human love’s fight against death.
Christ’s victory would be a minor victory. His lordship would have minimal range. The cosmos would still be enslaved to death.
That would be a nightmare, and the apostle Paul will have none of it. In Christ’s resurrection, a new, unending day has dawned. Paul writes: “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (v. 23), to depart not in the sense of escaping life, but in the sense of entering it more fully.
Dear Lord, because of you, the best is yet to be. Thank you.