Today’s Scripture: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:53‑57

Can the power of death be broken, or is it a solemn mark of finality on our existence? A certain atheist woman in Germany refused to accept the notion of the bodily resurrection. She planned for her funeral by instructing that her casket be placed in a granite tomb and fastened with iron bands. In the event of the resurrection, she figured, not even God Himself could resurrect her body.

When the woman died, her body was laid to rest in an ornate, polished granite tomb. But years later, as the ground settled beneath the weight of the granite, a small crack developed at the base of the tomb. Dirt entered the crack, and a small seed blew inside the narrow opening. Over time, the seed germinated and a small tree began to grow. That little tree split the granite and broke the iron bands around the tomb.

We must all face death someday because we are sinners. The power of sin and its penalty, death, has been broken because of Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice for us on the cross. When Jesus rose again from the dead, this showed that His payment had been accepted. Like Christ, we will also rise again — either to eternal life or eternal judgment. It’s laughable to think that a piece of granite can circumvent this.

Given the fact that you will die someday and experience a bodily resurrection, where will you spend eternity? It’s up to you. If you put your trust in the risen Christ, you are guaranteed eternity in Heaven. If you reject Christ’s free gift, you will spend eternity in Hell. I hope you will choose to trust in Christ today — or better yet, if you have already accepted Him, tell someone else about Him. Death can only have the last laugh if you let it.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.