For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.…
I. WHAT OF THE DEATH WHICH PRECEDES THIS LIFE?
1. It is a conscious death. There is no spiritual chloroform in the dispensary of the Great Physician. Man is wide awake during the whole process of conviction and conversion. No drug is wanted to stupify, but like the Saviour's death consciousness must not be disturbed or destroyed.
2. It is a willing death. The will, like a brave helmsman, conducts the soul out of the troubled waters of sin, and shapes and steers the course for the peaceful haven. Here is another parallel. What gave value to the death of Christ was its willingness.
3. It is an honourable death. Was it becoming at every Waterloo banquet to drink a toast in solemn silence in honour of the brave who fell? Men hang out the tattered colours in our national sanctuaries as honourable trophies. We turn to a nobler warfare with grander issues. When the black flag of rebellion is hauled down, the spirit of hostility is changed into devotion, reverence, fellowship, and service. When a man ceases to do evil and learns to do well, when he dies to sin and lives to God, we may call his death an honourable one.
4. It is a useful death. Who shall calculate the usefulness of death. Who shall reckon for us the value of the death of Sir John Franklin in the land of ice; of Allan Gardiner in the land of fire; of Abraham Lincoln, etc? So here; the tomb in which these dead are buried is changed into the "womb of the morning," and they become "children of the light and of the day."
II. WHAT OF THE LIFE WHICH FOLLOWS THIS DEATH?
1. It is a life of safety (Psalm 27:5). "Hid with Christ;" what a companion! Hid "in God"; how impregnable. What slender bulwarks man erects. "I hid my self," is the sorrowful expression of impotency, and is not a wiser policy than that of the ostrich who buries her head in the sand when escape has become impossible.
2. It is a life of privilege. That holy margin of the Saviour's time between His resurrection and ascension helps us to understand our privileges. How He comforts, confirms, and feeds. What recognition and communion. Outsiders could not see it. "Their eyes were holden."
3. It is a life of mystery. "It doth not yet appear," etc. We know in part only.
(H. T. Miller.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.