“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #194
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:56–58).
Death hurts the way it does because we are sinners and deserve to die, and death is as inexorably powerful as it is because of the law of God. The law is immutable because God’s character is unchanging, and death rides piggyback on the law. But through the gospel, God has devised a way to remove the sting of death and has executed a plan that overthrows the power of death—without overthrowing the law. Death is undone by resurrection, while law is not undone by resurrection—rather law is glorified and is revealed in its true character, which is that of love.
Because these things are true—because death is now a disarmed foe—Christians can give themselves to their work with a will. As beloved brothers, we are called to be steadfast and immoveable. This is a remarkable charge. We are creatures of flesh and bone, which can easily be crushed, but we are called to be steadfast and immoveable. Because Jesus rose, we are to not budge. We have set our hands to the work of the Lord, and—precisely because death is conquered—we are to abound in that work. The labors assigned to us should flow from us like a torrent.
In the light of the resurrection, we know that our toil is not in vain. It is not all going to burn, contrary to popular impressions. The wood, hay, and stubble is going to burn, but a good bit of what we do here—the gold, silver, and precious stones—is going to last forever. No good thing will ever perish forever, and no wicked thing will ever have an everlasting memorial.