Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
How else do the angels help us? This is my favorite thing. Not only do the angels minister to us in life, but the Bible says they also minister to us in death.
Death can seem like a terrifying experience. Can you imagine what it is going to be like to close your eyes one last time and know they will never open again–not in this life, anyway? Most of us would be afraid of dying. Yet Revelation 14:13 says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” Another word for “blessed” here is “happy.” What is this verse talking about? It is not just saying that the end result of death is happiness for the Christian; it is saying that the process of death is happy for a Christian. The psalmist said it this way: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15). Far from being a frightening experience, death is a blessed experience for a Christian.
How can death be a blessed and happy experience? I think the answer lies in the ministry of angels to us. We see how angels minister to us in death in Luke 16. In this chapter, Jesus tells the story of two very different men. They lived two different kinds of lives, they died two different deaths, and they ended up in two different destinies. The first man was the rich man. He spent his life in luxury and then died and was buried without ever acknowledging God (16:22). The Bible says when the rich man died, immediately after his death he was in Hell lifting up his eyes because he was in torment (16:23). The rich man disregarded God, he died, and he immediately ended up in Hell.
But what a different story for Lazarus! Lazarus was a righteous man–not because he was poor; there is nothing specifically righteous about being poor. Lazarus was righteous because, as his name (“God is my helper”) indicates, he depended upon the Lord.
The Bible says when Lazarus died, he was also buried. But notice what happened to him in verse 22: “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.” Notice what the angels did here: Lazarus was not alone in his death. At the moment of his death, God sent His angels to come and usher him into Heaven. The Bible teaches that if you are a Christian, one day God will send His angels to escort you into the presence of His Son.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Angels And You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.