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Page 82


The atheist sees a dark, meaningless "nothing" ending to human life. How is the true Christian view the opposite?


When true Christians suffer the parting hand of death, why is belief in the resurrection such a strengthening and comforting truth?



 

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

- 1 Peter 3:18-19

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

- Psalm 116:3

The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

- Psalm 18:5

 

    A young believer lay upon her deathbed, suffering severely from a fatal disease. A friend, who had not seen her for some weeks, again visited her.

    Shocked by her thin, pale, rapidly-deteriorating appearance, she cried out, "Oh, what has happened? You've lost so much weight! And your color..." With this she stopped and began to sob uncontrollably.

    The sick girl turned to her and calmly said, "Don't cry, Anne." She then recited with beautiful clearness, power, and radiancy, Job 19:26, "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."

    This sick girl and her friend had different "ends" in view - one saw the grave, the other saw beyond the grave.

    Which of the four reasons for the necessity of Christ's burial is illustrated by this story? Why?


JESUS' DESCENDING INTO HELL

Jesus did not descend into hell after, but before, His death on the cross. We know that He could not have descended into hell after His death because:

    1. After His death, Jesus' soul immediately returned to God, His Father in heaven. Jesus proclaimed as He died, "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Luke 23:46b).

    He also testified to the saved thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43b).


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