Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Those who have fallen asleep.”
—1 Thessalonians 4:14
Do not imagine that after death the soul sleeps in a state of insensibility. Jesus told the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in Paradise,” and this is the whisper of Christ to every dying saint. They “sleep in Jesus,” but their souls are before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his temple, singing hallelujahs to the One who washed them from their sins in his blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath a blanket of grass.
But why is it called sleep? It is rest! That’s what the Spirit of God means to convey to us. Sleep is a Sabbath for each day. Sleep shuts the door of the soul and tells every intruder to wait while the life within is restored.
How happy are those who die in the Lord; they rest from their labors, and their works follow them. And their rest will not be broken until God wakes them up to give them their full reward. They are the beneficiaries of glory until the fullness of time brings the fullness of redemption. They were laid in their last resting place weary and worn, but they will wake up in beauty and glory! The shriveled seed will rise from the dirt like a beautiful flower. The winter of the grave gives way to the spring of redemption and the summer of glory. In this sense, death is a blessing because its divine power strips away our working clothes and dresses us in garments of incorruption.
Blessed are those who “sleep in Jesus.” [M&E]