No More Death!
"Christ Jesus has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
(2 Timothy 1:10)
Of all the fears that grip the hearts of modern men and women, no fear is greater than the fear of death.
It is an evidence of our technological progress that on this Easter Sunday we can boast
that we have lived through the bloodiest century in human history.
Today a general pushes a button in a somewhat remote office and a Cruise missile finds its target
thousands of miles away.
Killing is easier now because we have weapons of mass destruction.
We can take out whole buildings and whole city blocks and even a whole city.
We know how to kill, but we don't know how to die.
When we face the prospect of our own death, we don't know what to say or what to do.
People say that nothing is certain but death and taxes.
That is not quite correct.
A person may find a way to avoid paying taxes.
He may not file a return -- and at least for awhile he pays no tax at all.
But you cannot avoid death or put it off.
When your time is up, your time is up.
This is a subject we'd rather not talk about, especially on such a happy occasion.
But if we can't talk about death on Easter, when can we talk about it?
The very essence of this day is a celebration of Jesus who has defeated death
and came back to tell us about it.
Death could not hold Him.
He holds the keys of death and hell.
Our text makes a wonderful affirmation when it declares that Jesus has destroyed death.
Let us pause for a moment to consider those words.
The older versions say He has "abolished" death.
There is but one problem with that.
Death does not appear to have been abolished.
If death has been destroyed, someone forgot to tell the undertakers.
People still die every day.
The cemeteries fill up and new ones open.
We have funeral homes, mortuaries, wakes, and weeping spouses.
And there are cancer, strokes, heart attack, sudden accidents, unexplained tragedies,
ethnic cleansing, and bombs in the dark of the night.
If you don't believe that, just pick up your daily newspaper and read the obituary section.
In my home town newspaper there are 30 to 50 deaths listed every day.
Listed were pastors, school teachers, and business leaders.
There was an infant and a four-year old.
There were those in their teens, in their twenties, thirties, forties and on into the older years.
Death is everywhere.
Every time you turn on the news or read a newspapers.
There are murders, tragic accidents, and deaths by disease.
There is war
Death is all around us!
So, where is the resurrection?
How can we say that death has been abolished when death seems to stare us in the face every day?
.If death has been abolished, why do we still die?
The answer -- we die because of sin.
Romans 5:12 tells us that death came to the world because of Adam's sin.
First there was Adam, then there was sin, then there was death.
Sin always leads to death and as long as sin exists in the world there will be death.
Death reigns in .....
How certain is the fact of your death?
So certain that there is an entire industry built about the expectation of your death.
It's called the life insurance industry.
The only reason you buy life insurance is because someday you are going to die.
If you lived forever, you'd never need life insurance.
You buy life insurance because you know the fact of your death;
you just don't know the time of your death.
You pay the money, but in order to get the insurance benefit, you have to die.
If you live and don't die, you've spent the money and you lose.
But when you die, someone else gets the money.
Life insurance is based on one great theological truth-- death reigns.
When you die, the coroner will fill out a death certificate for you.
There's a space on that certificate that says "Cause of Death."
The Biblical answer is sin.
It is not sickness or disease or an accident or old age.
Those are merely symptoms of the main cause of death -- sin.
So, how did Christ destroy death?
The word translated "destroyed"
in II Timothy 1:10 means to "render powerless."
When Jesus rose from the dead, He broke the power of death forever.
And one day death itself will die.
Until then death has taken on new meaning for the Christian.
"Whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:26)
Death for the Christian is a passing from one stage of life to another.
Paul declared that to "live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)
Consider the facts of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Did Jesus die? Yes.
Was He not buried? Yes.
Did the women weep? Yes.
Then, where is our hope?
Our only hope is founded on what happened early on Easter Sunday morning.
If Jesus was nothing more than a man, then we have no hope at all.
And our dreams of immortality are just that - idle dreams.
But there is good news from that graveyard.
There's an empty tomb in that cemetery.
It was the tomb of Jesus Christ.
He died on Friday afternoon, they buried Him on Friday evening, and by Sunday morning His tomb was empty.
This is God's good news!
Death could not hold Him and the grave could not keep Him.
He is the Lord of life.
He conquered death by entering the realm of death, and defeated it by coming out of that tomb on Sunday.