There is one thing I hate more than anything in this world and that is death.
You have heard it said that death is a natural part of life. We live, we die, that is just the way of things.
I couldn’t disagree more.
Although death is an inescapable reality, it was never the intention for us. Humanity was to spend forever in a paradise called Eden, walking with God, in perfect harmony with Creator and creation.
Then it happened: The fall of Adam and Eve.
One of the saddest moments in all of the Bible is the account of the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. Many of us know the story: God told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They did and then they were booted out of the garden. Some of us are so familiar with the story that it almost seems rather innocuous but take time to read it again with fresh eyes. Hear the pain in God’s voice when He looks to people whom He created and loved, betray Him when He asks them “what is this thing you have done?” (Gen. 3:13).
Sin entered the world through our first parents and along with it, death became an unavoidable part of life. The whole world, because of that choice made in the garden to sin against God, is now subject to futility and held captive in corruption (Rom. 8:20-21). We live every single day dealing with the consequence of what happened in Eden.
“The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) and for some of you, you know that all too well.
It is okay to not be okay with death. It’s a curse. It’s perfectly appropriate to feel the grief and the emotions that are a result of experiencing death in this world.
But for the Christian, we are not without hope.
We can, on one hand, hate death and grieve at the loss of life while on the other hand rejoice and remain hopeful.
How is this possible? Simply put, because of Jesus.
Jesus Christ undoes the power of death that reigned over humanity. In Adam, all of humanity died with his trespass (Rom. 5:15) yet with Christ and his resurrection, he reverses the curse of Adam and shows that he is superior over death. As the Apostle Peter says in his very first sermon at Pentecost, “it was not possible for him [Jesus] to be held by it [death]” (Acts. 2:24).
Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he has become “Christus Victor”—Christ the Victor and all those who believe upon Christ and are redeemed by his work on the cross, share in that victory over death. In other words, Jesus’ triumph over death by way of his resurrection becomes our triumph because we too will resurrect like him (1 Cor. 15).
Death is a foe to be hated. However, according to the Bible, death is a defeated foe.
As death remains an experience of which all of us at one point will face, take comfort in knowing that Christ has won over death.
The Apostle Paul summed up the elation of shared triumph over death when he wrote this:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)
I hate death.
I hate what it does to people.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory over our greatest foe, death, through our Savior Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:56).