“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord ” (Romans 6:23).
Verse 3 of the majestic hymn, “Crown Him With Many Crowns,” speaks of life-eternal life-made possible by the death of the Creator of life. This was followed by His retaking life and returning in victory from the grave. The hymn expresses it well.
Crown Him the Lord of life, Who triumphed o’er the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife For those He came to save.
His glories now we sing Who died and rose on high,
Who died, eternal life to bring, And lives that death may die.
As in our text, eternal life is a “gift of God,” made possible “by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (II Timothy 1:10). The penalty for sin had to be paid, and so “Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3). But in order to fully vanquish death and offer forgiven sinners eternal life, He “rose again the third day” (v.4) “wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Then, “when He had by Himself purged our sins, [He] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? . . . Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54,55,57).
Although eternal death has been vanquished, we still face physical death. Yet there will come a day when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). JDM