A Message from Pastor Hale
Death is the enemy. We have many other problems and difficulties in this world, but none should be compared to God’s just punishment for sin: the tearing apart of body and soul. The world hates the death penalty in capital punishment. But every child of Adam – every living being – is living under the sentence of death. Its shadow rests over all aspects of life – try as we might to tune it out. We lie in the fetters of death, called prisoners of the “shadow of death.”
In Christ’s death, death is inescapable though. It cannot be avoided for the believer. Our sin is judged and condemned as deserving of death. There is no one else to blame. Not God, not our parents, not our situation, and not the world. God’s just verdict is rendered upon the body of Christ. It is too much to face – which is why our Lord was sent to take death on – for us. He died a holy death – the righteous life of Jesus offered for unrighteous sinners.
Death is now a light thing for the forgiven person in Christ – not the end. Jesus took the wrath out of it, so we are free from the judgment of all sins. Nothing we do can bring eternal death upon Christ, who has already died for us. In Him, living by faith, we are safe from our iniquity. Death cannot touch us. The penalty has been paid – Christ’s body on the cross is our peace. Rest is yours in the Gospel today.
Not only is death bearable – it has been made fleeting and temporary by the resurrection of Christ. Jesus is the first-fruits, the first of many to come to life. Jesus’ rising is our life. He rose over our sin, showing death is not the powerful boss, but has been overpowered by our Lord for us.
Death is a great enemy, not to be trifled with or ignored. But it is now a pitiful defeated enemy. It was no match for Jesus, who died for sin, and rose for our justification. And if death and hell have no authority over us in Christ, we have nothing to fear in this world. We live free above all enemies, since the archenemy Satan has been defeated, along with his lapdog, death. The true fact of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the basis for our hope. Amen.