Paul tells us that for the Christian it is better to die than to live. Phil.1:21 says, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Verse 23 says, “For I am hard pressed between the two (life and death) having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
The word “depart” is often used synonymously with death. It is a beautiful word that has several meanings. For example, it can mean “to hoist anchor and take sail”. Paul saw death as a release from this world, an opportunity to set sail into eternity. This reminds me of Tennyson’s poem “Crossing the Bar”. The mooring lines of this life are loosed, enabling one to reach that eternal shore.
The word can also mean to “take down a tent”, like an army that strikes camp and moves closer to the goal. II Cor. 5:1 says, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The word “depart” can also mean “loosing of a prisoner”. In II Tim. 4:6 Paul writes that his departure is at hand. As a result, he was confident of his reward. Having been a prisoner of Christ, he knew that there was a crown of glory awaiting him.
This reward is for all those who love His appearing. Are you ready for your departure? I hope so, because it may be sooner than you think.