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The Son Declares Your Independence from Death

St. Peter & St. John Lutheran Churches  
Evansville & Ruma, IL

Sun, Jul 1, 2007 

The foreign dictator demanded his due.  The wicked ruler did not care what the people wanted or needed - only what they owed.  The tyrant's ears were deaf to their cries.  There was no freedom, only burdensome oppression.

Then another leader came forth.  "I will restore freedom for these people.  I will fight for them."  It was a fierce battle, but there were no sounds of bullets nor bombs bursting in air.  The people only heard nails being pounded into the hands of the Lord Jesus and then His triumphant cry from His cross, "It is finished!" By dying for your sins, Jesus has swallowed up death, "the last enemy" (1 Corinthians 15:26).

Still death tries to harm us.  We try to tame it by ignoring the real pain it causes us.  That is, until it approaches us at the deathbed of a loved one.  The phrase "Death is a natural part of life" offers only shallow comfort.  If we think about it, it's a ridiculous phrase!  Death and life are opposites!

Yes, death does cause pain.  But the Christian has One stronger than death who has already burst through the grave.  Therefore Martin Luther once said: "Death, what is the worst you can do to us? You have frightening teeth, you bare them and you terrify me, and I do not die gladly. But I don't want to consider only what you can do… I want to ponder and perceive how our Lord God will intervene, even though you strangle me. He does not fear you, nor is he awed by your raging and ravaging, but says, 'Death, I shall be the death of you; grave, I shall be your destruction. If you can kill my Christians, I can in turn throttle you and recall them to life.'"

Jesus has come and brings pleasures eternal.  The Son of God sets you free, declaring our independence from death.  Jesus said to Martha, and today says to you, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).

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