I realize it is not yet Easter, the time we traditionally would say such things, as if Jesus were only resurrected on one Sunday in the spring, the rest of the year being tucked away safely in the back of a closet somewhere. Just the same, He is risen indeed!
We serve a resurrected Lord, who rose on the third day and that tomb is now empty. He came to set the captives free and He came so that we might have life and life abundant. We are invited into a relationship with Him, invited into resurrected life, with Him.
Sigh. Big sigh. Okay, let me take a few deep breaths and speak this truth as gently as possible.
Oh death, where is your sting?
We will all get sick and die. Our current physical bodies will not last. They all have an expiration date. Our days are not promised. But the good news is, we are not simply our physical bodies. We have a soul!
With all good gallows humor here, but I’ve been around the block a few times and I don’t think I was the one actually riding inside the vehicle. There are some things so much worse than death! When the Bible tells us in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” that is no joke! Our fear of the Lord, (which means reverence, awe, awareness of His power and authority) must be far greater than our fear of disease and death.
There is probably nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer and being totally powerless to help them. That is just so excruciatingly painful, probably the scariest fear we will ever have to confront and deal with. It is so not easy to let go and place their fate in the Lord’s hands. I would easily rather suffer and die myself then watch my kids go through something awful. BUT….God is sovereign, not us. God is in control, not us. Our children are not even our own, they really belong to Him. God is good too, always. We can place those we love in His hands and trust in Him, even though it can be really hard, and there are some things we are not ever going to understand, not on this side of heaven.
So absolutely there is one example of a thing worse than death, right there. And that is but one example!
I’m a wee bit perturbed by the number of Christians who say we believe in a resurrected Lord, but don’t act like it in word and deed. We spend an incredible amount of time rejecting freedom and fearing sickness and death. Jesus came to set the captives free, and whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!
My words are not really intended for anyone dealing with personal anxiety or walking through fears as individuals or trying to heal from sicknesses. Me too people, me too! I am just saying if we had a healthy, thriving Body of Christ, this scamdemic would not be happening, these lockdowns would not be happening, and grandma would not be sitting alone in a nursing home confronting the fact that she is now going to die without seeing her grandchildren because Thanksgiving has been canceled all in the name of “safety.”
Trust me, that woman would rather risk dying of covid than risk dying alone, disconnected from her family. That is an abomination, a cruelty, a deception. You sure aren’t doing your loved ones any favors when you condemn them to separation, isolation, and loneliness at the end of their lives.
A few years back I drew a firm line in the sand and I went home and wrote, “He is risen indeed,” in giant chalk letters across on my fence. It’s been raining, they are fading away now, but it was in response to having so many Christians around me not serving our resurrected Lord, not walking in life abundant, but rather walking in fear.
Fear of death. Fear of medical procedures. Fear of disease. Fear of freedom. Fear of relationships. Fear of honesty. Fear of standing up for what the Bible tells us is true. Fear of living in His life and life abundant. Fear of vulnerability. Fear that what He says might be true!
That line in the sand is still drawn, it still stands there firm, and it’s not a line designed to keep anyone out, it’s an invitation to step across it and into your rightful inheritance as sons of a Most High God.
Jesus went out there and hugged lepers and yet we cower in fear over a virus and try to justify ourselves with lectures about submitting to governing authorities, loving our neighbors, and not using our freedom to satisfy our sinful nature?!
Are you bloody kidding me??! Seriously?
Rise up my dry bones! In your present condition you are kind of useless to me, like overcooked soggy pasta jiggling on a plate. I really need some warriors around because none of us are getting out of this life alive, unscathed, intact. Since that’s how it’s going to go down for every last one of us, let’s go down without fear, let’s go down with Jesus and His promise of freedom, of faith, of life and life abundant.