1 Thessalonians 4:14
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
I. JESUS DIED THAT WE MIGHT SLEEP. The thought is that He, though sinless, died like a sinner. He took the place of a sinner; was treated as a sinner as far as possible without sinning. He became what we sinners are, that we, the sinners, as far as possible, might become what He, the Righteous, is. Jesus died, then; His disciples sleep. Jesus spake of Lazarus sleeping, but never referred to His own death as sleep: that was not sleep, but death in its utter awfulness. The sting of death, He felt it; the victory of death, He yielded to it; the curse of death, He bore it; the desolation of death, He endured it; the darkness of death, He dreaded it. "O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?" were not words of our blessed Saviour, though they may be of the blessed dead.
II. IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD, WE MAY ALSO BELIEVE THAT THOSE WHO SLEEP IN JESUS, GOD WILL BRING WITH HIM. So far as we loved them, we may love them as ever, as we shall yet behold them perfect in Jesus, without a semblance of sin, pure as He is pure. When He died, His sorrows were over, His work was done. And observe a remarkable fact — the body of the Redeemer was preserved from every indignity after the spirit had departed. Up to the moment of His death, He was subjected to every outrage. He was like the sinner; He was acting for the sinner; He was suffering for the sinner; and, while He was a consenting party, every indignity was heaped upon Him. But from the moment His spirit left His body, every honour was done to Him. His body, after His resurrection, was very unlike His body previously — it was "a spiritual body," invisible, and passing when and where it would and doing what it would. That body will be the model of our bodies; and the prime thought of St. Paul is — He will bring our friends to us again, and we shall know them, and be with them forever with the Lord.
(A. Lind, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.