Is death an enemy?
It’s terrible, that’s for sure. It wasn’t part of the original design for the world. It’s a consequence of sin. There’s something in us that says it’s not natural, even though it is everywhere we look. God’s ultimate plan is to swallow up death forever. Satan holds people in bondage to the fear of death.
And you can see why people are afraid, right?
Finish any sentence with, “and then you die” and see how exciting it sounds.
You become president of the United States, and then…
You own the whole world, and then…
So yes, of course, 100 percent, death is an enemy. But at Easter, we gather together to remember that it is a defeated enemy. Because man brought death into God’s world, God became man to take death out.
Can you shout, Jesus, Jesus!
Jesus is a hero.
Quoting Hebrews 2.
“Since therefore the children share in flesh in blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
And, honestly, you might want to read that again.
There’s a lot of words, I know, but it’s amazing.
Maybe just say it slowly out loud to yourself.
Destroy…the one who has the power of death…and deliver…
Destroy the devil and deliver believers.
That is good news.
And that’s why as Christians, we don’t like death, we hate it like everybody else, we grieve over it, but we grieve with hope. Not because we are denying reality, but because we remember an even greater reality.
As Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 15.
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
And there’s so much I like about that sentence. Starting with ‘in fact.’ This is a fact. Or how about, ‘fallen asleep’? Because, that’s not so scary, right? What’s dying? For Christians, it’s falling asleep.
Which should give us a lot of peace and hope.
But sometimes doesn’t.
Which is part of why we have a special Easter service!
We need to help each other remember and enjoy what’s real, because what’s real, is we live, we die, our souls go to heaven, and one day our bodies will rise again, to live forever with Jesus.