“Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).
You are going to love this.
If death has been abolished, then some would say we seem to be stuck with the proverbial “dead man walking.” The corpse appears very much alive and the grim reaper persists in taking down a fair to middlin’ number of victims every day.
But stay with me here a moment.
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” said Paul in I Corinthians 15:26.
So, has death been abolished or not?
I’m indebted to a couple of old books for some insights worth their weight in gold. One is a biography of J. B. Phillips and the other is a quote from a book Mr. Phillips wrote.
J. B. Phillips (1906-1982) was an Anglican pastor and scholar, who during World War II began translating Paul’s epistles into everyday language for the young people with whom he was working. Letters to Young Churches was eventually published to great acclaim, encouraging Phillips to give the same treatment to the whole of the New Testament. The result was the wildly successful New Testament in Modern English, popularly known as the Phillips New Testament. This was followed by a dozen or more books, several becoming best-sellers. (Phillips was also a friend of C. S. Lewis, who encouraged him in his translations and writings.)
The wonderful thing is that God used Mr. Phillips in spite of his physical sufferings and used the suffering to refine him. The result was a life of fruitfulness which continues to this day, long after he has left us.
In his book Your God is Too Small, published when his fame was at its height and his popularity on both sides of the Atlantic seemed boundless, Phillips talks about Second Timothy 2:10, God having “abolished death.”
His insights are treasures.