We lived in fear of death.
We feared dying, but more than that, we feared what would come after death. We knew we didn’t deserve to go to heaven; we knew we were too sinful to be welcomed into the kingdom of a righteous, holy God. And we knew there was only one other place we could go–and that’s what we feared.
Our fear held us in bondage.
We never could go somewhere, never could do something, never really have fun, without that thought always lurking in the back of our minds: What if I die?
It kept us up at night, gave us nightmares, made us tremble and sweat.
When someone died, the grief was terrible, knowing I’ll never see them again, unless we somehow find each other in the flames and also realizing I could be next.
We had no hope; we knew we couldn’t escape, couldn’t run and hide from death. Someday, it would come for us–and so we feared.
But Jesus made a way out.
No, not exactly a way to escape death–we’d still have to die–but a way to escape going to “that place.”
He, the perfect sacrifice, died on an altar of wood with the entire world’s sins marring Him; His cleansing blood was spilt, offering life to all who would receive.
He lay for three days in a borrowed grave; it’s said during that time He went to the deepest parts of hell to fight the devil, and to get the keys of life and death–and He won.
He came back to life, victorious over the grave, and gave us hope. If we would accept Him as Savior, then we wouldn’t have to go to the lake of fire, and we too would one day rise from the grave.
His death gave us life; His being held by the grave for a time allowed us to be set free.
So why do we keep living in fear? Why do we act like nothing’s changed? We need to stop!
We must understand that death no longer has the power over us and that we have been given life abundantly (John 10:10).
We must realize Satan’s already lost, and our God is the Champion.
We need to stop worrying that we’re not good enough, because, yes, we aren’t, but Jesus is.
We need to stop thinking that our looks are all wrong or that we’re just a big failure, because we are created by God and He doesn’t make mistakes.
We need to stop feeling like we can’t do this or we can’t overcome this sin, because He grants us freedom and strength if we ask.
Jesus opened up the door, but it’s up to us to leave our chains and walk out of the prison.
*This was inspired by Hebrews 2:14-15. It tells us (paraphrasing from KJV and CEV) that we are people of flesh and blood and that Jesus became one of us. He died so that through death He could defeat the one who had the power of death, the devil. Also through His death, He made a way of deliverance for all of us who lived every day in fear of death and were held in bondage by it.*