O death, where is your victory? 1 Corinthians 15:55
We cannot be sure where Christopher Columbus lies buried. Some say it is in the Dominican Republic, where his son is buried. Others say it is in the cathedral of Seville, Spain. Similarly, Daniel Boone has a gravesite in Frankfort, Kentucky, and another at Defiance, Missouri.
With Moses, the situation is different. The last chapter of Deuteronomy states that "to this day no one knows where his grave is" (Deuteronomy 34:6). While the apocryphal book, The Assumption of Moses, says that the archangel Michael carried Moses' body to heaven, the book of Jude (v. 9) tells us only that Michael disputed with Satan over Moses' body. Also the prophet Elijah has no grave, for also he was taken to heaven bodily.
Another who has no grave is Jesus. After His death on the cross His body was laid into Joseph's tomb. But on the third day He rose from the grave. The power of our Lord's resurrection was foretold by the prophet Hosea: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?" (Hosea 13:14). Saint Paul repeated the substance of these words in his most comforting chapter in 1 Corinthians 15.
When we say the grave was robbed, we are not referring to the work of thieves who rob graves. We mean that death and the grave were stripped of their power over us when Christ, in proof of His conquest of sin and death, rose triumphantly from His tomb. Thanks to His victory, graves cannot hold back their occupants but must give them up when our Savior returns in glory on the Last Day.
The promise of the resurrection applies to all who died as believers in Christ, also to those whose graves have long disappeared and to those who never had a grave, like those who drowned in oceans. "The sea gave up the dead," writes Saint John (Revelation 20:13). In the end it makes very little difference where our graves are or whether they can be identified. The Lord Jesus knows where we are, and He will find us on that Great Day.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for conquering death and the grave in my behalf. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)