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?
I mean, if we just look at life apart from the Bible – "under the sun," as Solomon would say – finish any sentence with “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 this weekend, 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. It’s amazing. Maybe, 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 – the resurrection!
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?" That’s not so scary, right? Sleeping. And that’s what death is like for us now as Christians because of Jesus.
And yet, while that’s true, sometimes it is difficult to remember and enjoy.
But, that’s part of why we have a special Easter service!
We need this.
Would you please pray that God would use our study of 1 Corinthians 15 this Sunday to remind us and convince us that the resurrection of the dead is absolutely certain? Come ready to worship! Come expecting God to speak to you through His Word! And, come praying that God would change you as a result!
I’ve included some things in the sermon brief document that I think will help you and your children benefit from the message this Sunday. Check them out. Print out what’s helpful. Or perhaps you can come up with a better plan yourself. For the younger children this Sunday, you can have them listen for the word, “resurrection.” To encourage them, Marda will have some treats afterward.
I’m working on some short “podcasts” on marriage and family. You can find the first one here.
We are also recording our Thursday morning Bible study. This week we looked at Exodus 17. You can check it out here.
We are wanting to do a short podcast every week in question and answer format. You can help! If you have any questions you would like the pastors here at CBC to discuss, please send me or Isaiah an email.