The Word of the Lord from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 15, beginning with verse 51: "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. … Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' 'O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?' 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." Thus far the reading.
Grace, mercy, and peace to you, the family and friends of Timmy.
Our brother Timmy suffered different hardships in this life. He struggled physically and emotionally as God allowed him to experience trouble.
But we should cast all those memories aside, because Timmy has won the victory over all suffering and pain. He has even won the victory over death.
Timmy did not win the victory by being kind or generous. He did not win the victory by being loving or hard working. Many here can testify to the fact that Timmy was all these things. But that is not how a person wins the victory over suffering and death.
Timmy had to overcome problems that were greater than himself. Saint Paul names these problems: corruption and mortality. No man is able to overcome those problems. No one can be good enough to overcome the corruption of sin or the darkness of the grave.
But when Timmy faced death, he did not face it alone. Another stood by his side, one who was stronger than death. Through Him, through Jesus Christ, Timmy has won the victory.
Christ removed the sharp sting of death, which is sin, for He washed Timmy clean in His precious Blood. With all of Timmy's sins nailed forever to the Cross of Calvary, no one could bring any accusation against him. Not even satan could stand up and accuse Timmy of anything, since the Lord God has already declared Timmy innocent forever.
So Timmy has passed through death into life. He has gone into the direct presence of His dear Lord. Now Timmy has no pain or fear anymore.
But that is not enough of a victory. Christ Jesus is not satisfied with merely giving Timmy immortality as a spirit. We can see that the body of Timmy is here, and Christ loves Timmy too much to leave this body behind.
So Christ has also redeemed the body of Timmy. He died for all of him: mind, body, heart, and soul. Although the body sleeps now, it will awaken on the last day. Timmy's spirit and body will be reunited as Christ raises him on the Last Day.
But it will not be the same kind of body. The body here was subject to pain and illness and sin and death. But the Lord will raise the body of Timmy far better than it was before. The physical and emotional difficulties he struggled with will never touch him again. He will be raised imperishable - nothing will ever go wrong with the new body that Christ will give him. He will be full of strength and health and life so that if you could see him now as he will be, Timmy would fill you with awe and amazement.
Christ Jesus has won this victory for Timmy. He won that victory by His perfect life and His innocent suffering and death. He won that victory by crushing satan's head. He won that victory by smashing to pieces the power of the grave.
The wonders of the life that Timmy has received and will receive are beyond our comprehension. When we remember that Christ purchased all these things for Timmy by dying on the Cross and rising on the third day, how can we put a limit on the value of what He has done? There is no limit to the value of the Cross or the Empty Tomb. There is no limit to the preciousness of the Blood shed on Calvary. So the value of the life given to Timmy is limitless and endless and perfect.
Death is swallowed up. Death is defeated. Thanks be to God, who has done all this for Timmy through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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