Death. Just saying or typing the word brings with it somewhat of an icky feeling. After all, who likes to think or talk about death? Aside from people that have some serious mental issues, generally no one likes to dwell long on the topic of death. But yet it’s out there, lurking in the future for every man, woman and child. And the reality is that as much as we don’t like to think about it, we all know we will face it someday.
For most of those who are unbelievers, this knowledge of death can be a debilitating fear. Some will try to push off any thought of death, others may try a tough-guy attitude towards it while others while try to make light of their fear. For example, the screenwriter Woody Allen is quoted as saying, “I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it comes.” But in reality, many are scared to their very core of the thought of death. In fact, our reading today has an interesting phrase to describe this fear. Hebrews 2:15 says, “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” That verse describes those who live in fear of death as being in bondage or slavery to this fear. No matter where they go, they can’t get away from it. Loved ones who pass away, celebrities or athletes who die- these all serve to remind everyone that death is imminent.
However, for those of us as believers, Hebrews 2 serves as a wonderful reminder that we no longer have to fear death. If we look up to verse 14 we read, “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection defeated Satan and as a result, death itself. Death for the Christian is just the passing on from this life to the next, a life free of our flesh, sinful nature and the start of our “shall be ever with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:17) As the last verse of the powerful song, “In Christ Alone” states, “No guilt in life, no fear in death, This is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand. Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”