No Fear of Death

The obvious fact is that none of Jesus’ followers expected Him to rise from the dead. When the Sabbath ended and they were free to work again, sympathetic women came with spices for His dead body and concern about moving the stone. The reason was obvious: they had seen Him on the cross. They watched Him die and be placed in the tomb. And they knew the rule: death is the end of all and for all. No one escapes and no one returns.

I remember the first time I thought seriously about my own eventual and unavoidable death.I was in 7th grade, and it was near Christmas. It was the last day of school before break, and we received news that girl who had attended our school the year before was in a sledding accident and was instantly killed.That was the first time, but it was hardly the last. I’m sure you’ve experienced these thought, too. No one escapes. Given 80 years or so, every single individual in this building will be cut down by the Reaper’s scythe.Every one of us is terminal.

It’s frightening, if you think about it. For some, it’s terrifying. But the writers of the Bible claim that Jesus’ death and resurrection can free us from the fear of death. How?

First, the plain facts of Good Friday and Easter tell us that Jesus has been through all of this Himself. Even in death, our Savior shares our experience.

Second, He promises to be with us in it. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Ps 23:4). One of the most powerful remedies to fear is knowing you are not alone.

Third, He has proven His power it. Remember the angel’s words from the tomb that first Easter morning? “Do not be alarmed,” he said. “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Look at the empty tomb. Hell could not claim Him, and death could not hold Him. Jesus’ resurrection utterly transformed death from a fearsome specter to a welcomed summons. Death is now heaven’s travel agent. If you are a Christian, he comes to take you home!

So don’t be afraid of life’s inevitable end. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!