“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” (Psalm 110:1, ESV)
My grandfather, succumbing to Alzheimer’s later in life, lost track of reality and eventually failed to recognize his own wife. And he died.
This past spring, grief swept through our Seminary faculty as Prof Hendricks, Dr. Zuck, and Dr. Strauss all battled cancer. And they died.
But, hasn’t the sting of death been nullified by the work of Christ? Didn’t Christ come to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found? Wasn’t He born that man no more may die?
Christ’s work is not finished—yet. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, but the footstool remains under construction. During this time before Christ’s Second Advent, the final enemy, Death, sinks its venomous fangs into creation even while its slithering body writhes and gasps with defeat. Death is not dead—yet.
Some translations describe Christ’s work as destroying or abolishing death, but we find the clearest translation in the NET: “[Christ] has broken the power of death” (2 Tim. 1:10, emphasis added). No longer must we fear death or labor as its slave (Heb. 2:14–15). But death still stings—for now.
The Psalmist sings a prophecy so profound in Psalm 110:1 that Christ Himself repeats it (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42–43), as does Peter (Acts 2:34–35). Let us not overlook how the verse ends! Death will die “when the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:54, emphasis added); God will dry our tears and “death shall be no more” (Rev. 21:4). Christ waits with us for that last enemy not merely to falter but become a footstool—completely and irrevocably eliminated from our experience.
My grandfather lives, having surrendered to Christ early in life, and now enjoys a perfectly clear mind in the presence of the Lord. In a little while, he’ll don a perfect new body—cosmic evidence of death’s final destruction.