Death and Resurrection

“Dying, Christ destroyed our death. Rising, Christ restored our life. Christ will come again in glory.” If it is strange that you know these words that’s ok because you have probably heard them before. These are the beginning lines from our liturgy during funerals which is what we call “The Service of Death and Resurrection.” These are lines that set out the hope of those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. For in Christ, we are born again into a living hope where death has no part, and the resurrection of body is our future reality (1 Peter 1).
            We have entered into the season of Lent which ends on Easter Sunday morning when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Lent and Easter sit as the focus of our faith. In Lent we recognize that death is a current reality. Our bodies came from dust and to dust they will return; this is what we say at Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent. To solidify this reality we celebrate the season through repentance (our need for Christ), fasting (our need for God’s power), and almsgiving (our need to give ourselves for others). Through this we recognize the helpless situation we face because of sin and death. In reality you and I will face death, our bodies will give out, slow down, get old, or come to a sudden stop. Our bodies right now are finite and perishable. We are going to die one day.
            Easter is the reality of life. Jesus who sacrificed Himself on the cross was raised from the dead 3 days later. Jesus’ resurrection is the first-fruit of all who will be raised from the dead at the end of this age. The power of resurrection lives and reigns in this world more so than the power of sin and death. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11). In Jesus we find life, an abundant life, where sin and death have no hold on us. Yes, our bodies will die and return to the earth, but through the power of God, He will raise our physical bodies. He will breath the breath of life into our lungs and our blood will start to pump again, our hearts of stone will be made flesh once more. Our spirits will finally rest in an imperishable body and be raised into immortality. Christ will come in glory and restore to us life beyond death and the scripture will be fulfilled, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15). If this is the Good News of Jesus Christ, why do we fear death?
            Death should not be a fear in those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, yet everyday “Christians” fear what might happen to their bodies. Our fear keeps us from spreading the Gospel to others. Our fear keeps us in our sinful nature of self-preservation. Jesus was not afraid of death. Jesus, for our sake, went to the cross and faced a horrific death. He did this because He loves us and put His faith in the Father who values us more than the birds of the air and the flowers of the ground (Matthew 10). The Father is able to do anything and He has chosen to relieve our fears by resurrecting Jesus from the grave so that we no longer have to fear death. We are set free from the sin of fear and given a new life that is eternal, prepared for us in the heavenly places. Think of your life if it was free from the fear of death. What would your life look like? How would you act? How would you handle pain and suffering? How would you minister to those in need? Would you be afraid of where God calls you to proclaim His Son to the world?
            Do you fear death? If so, maybe it is time to place more faith in God. Repent of your fear and ask that Jesus pour His Holy Spirit of life into you. Ask our Lord and Savior to give you a well-spring of life within you so that you may overcome your fear of death and rest in His Resurrection.
Love in Christ through the Holy Spirit
Rev. Dr. Rusty L. Husted
Posted in

No Comments