Sunday, April 9, 2017

Overcoming the Inevitable

...This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

-- 1 John 5:4-5

Few people like to talk about it, but it's something we'll all have to face one day or another. It's not a trip to the dentist's office, an audit by the IRS or even a ballet recital. It's something much more inevitable: DEATH.

Why do so many people worry about death? For those who aren't Christ-followers, death represents the unknown. It's a gaping, black hole. And who knows what's at the bottom of that pit or who's on the other side? And besides, death is just

What we don't know or understand frightens us. It frightens us a lot.

That doesn't sound very reassuring. ButVictory there is some very good news: If you've accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have absolutely nothing to fear from death. In fact, death is simply the transition between our relatively brief existence on Earth and an eternity of joy. It's from Revelation--the final book of the Bible--that we learn that all troubles, tears, pain and sorrows will be things of the past. That's something to anticipate rather than fear!

How is this possible? 

It's explained through the Easter story. After Jesus willingly accepted the death penalty to pay for all of our sins, he proved that he is indeed God-in-the-flesh by fulfilling Old Testament prophesies and rising to life. The huge boulder that had earlier sealed his grave was rolled away, and the tomb was empty and hollow. Likewise, so now was the devil's greatest weapon against mankind: the threat of death.

Easter is a reminder of an obvious truth: One day, death will take you. But there's some very good news in this sobering thought. If you've surrendered your life to Jesus, death can't keep you. It's already been defeated through his triumphant resurrection. In John's Gospel there's a familiar passage about Christ's power to overcome the grave:  

"I am the resurrection and the life," the Savior proclaims. "He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

When Easter arrives next Sunday, remember that it's not about chocolate rabbits and colorful, hard-boiled eggs. Easter is instead a celebration of victory over death. You can believe in Jesus' promises and have great confidence in your eternal future. It's because he conquered death that you never have to worry.

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