Day 25

Jesus Is Our Returning Savior

from the Because He Lives reading plan

1 Corinthians 15:35-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

BY Claire Gibson

Corrie Ten Boom’s memoir The Hiding Place chronicles the Nazi occupation of Holland during WWII. Under constant watch, Corrie and her family decided to form an underground network of resistance, hiding Jewish men, women, and children in homes across Holland, including their own. They knew the day would come when the Nazis would learn the truth—and soon that day came. For their crimes against Germany, Corrie and Betsey were both sent to Ravensbruck Concentration camp, where their bodies deteriorated under the weight of overwork, malnutrition, and disease.

If that were the end of the story, it would be a tragedy. But day after day, in the flea-ridden dormitory that the guards would not enter for fear of being infested themselves, Corrie and Betsey read the Bible aloud for all the imprisoned women of Bunk 28. Holding daily services, they learned that the Word of God speaks boldly, even in—perhaps especially in—the darkest circumstances. And while their health faltered, their hearts grew more convinced that they would be together with God when the ordeal was over, whether through death or through survival.

Our temporary bodies hold eternal souls. My body is susceptible to illness, breakdown, injury, paralysis, and even death. But my soul is eternal. My body might stop working all together; organs might fail, and my womb may never function as it was designed to function. That is okay with me. Because my body is not me. It is a temporary home for God to do His work in the world. Even if that work is in a place I do not recognize. Even if that work is in a concentration camp.

Death—real death—is not physical. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God, and that kind of death has been swallowed up forever, because our Lord Jesus Christ took the penalty for our sin as He hung on the cross. Now, “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). So while our bodies might deteriorate, our souls will grow closer to our Creator. And one day, when Christ returns with a shout (1 Thessalonians 4:16), we will be raised to be like Him, bearing the image of heaven. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye… we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:50–52).

I pray that no one will ever experience anything as cruel and inhumane as a Nazi concentration camp. But all of us will at some point experience the impact of disease, death, and disappointment on this side of eternity. Those earthly losses are deep, and our heavenly Father grieves them with us. Yet in that grief, He invites us to shift our gaze to Him, to trust that He has plans that far exceed what we can see in this world, beyond the physical realm.

When my time comes to shed this shell, I pray that God will give me the courage to believe the truth; I lose nothing when I lose a human body, because I gain everything in Him. For the believer, Christ’s resurrection has secured eternity with Him. One day soon, He will return for us, and we will always be with Him, forevermore (1 Thessalonians 4:17). “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "Jesus Is Our Returning Savior"

  1. Ana Love says:

    I always need the reminder that in grief it’s important to shift our view to focus on the lord. I had never head the story of the women in concentration camp but for me it’s so convicting to know that in those circumstances they sought the Lord rather that complaining about where they were at!

  2. Roz Ann says:

    Lost my grandmother on Monday, I was told yesterday. Needed this today. Thankyou ❤️.

  3. Leslie Godwin says:

    I only just found this app today, although have been reading my She Reads Truth Bible for a while now.
    I didn’t even know I needed this devotion today, but God did. This was beautiful.

  4. Steph C says:

    Death is not the end. It is not something to be dreaded. It has no power over us. As our eyes close in physical death they open to everlasting joy in the presence of our God and Savior. ❤️

    1. Kelli Paskey says:

      Beautifully said, Steph!!

  5. Michelle Sexton says:

    I really needed to read this today. I’ve been struggling with bronchitis and sinus infection for 2 months now. I’ve felt discouraged the last couple of days. This is exactly what I needed today. ❤️

  6. Virginia says:

    I was listening to an interview with N.T. Wright the other day. I think he explained it well. When someone we know and love is sick, we often describe them as “a shadow of their former selves.” But in Christ, we are currently a shadow of our future selves. The best is yet to come! We will be raised immortal and incorruptible with Christ when he returns.

    1. Lisa S says:

      “In Christ, I am a shadow of my future self.” Yes, this.

  7. Laurie Smith says:

    Thank you. This gives me hope and helps me to focus on God and the bigger picture.

  8. Beth Meagher says:

    In my 3rd year of remission from lymphoma and living this. I have had more illnesses in the past 2 years than in the first 50, COMBINED, due to immunosuppression. God is close-Abba- but struggling mentally and emotionally with my usually strong self now broken down. I feel the lessons are here, being learned, but will only see one day in hindsight. If you are struggling, you are not alone. We are sisters in suffering, but overcoming daughters of the King. Praying we all feel his breath today…

    1. Caitlin C says:

      Praying for your strength and healing. ❤️

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