Jesus: Champion over Death
1 Corinthians 15:20a – “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.”
People will say that death doesn’t frighten them, but what frightens them is leaving loved ones behind. Is that really true? Or is it possible that we are afraid of both? We are afraid of death, but we are also afraid of what may or may not happen with our family. Death is an enemy that has stalked us for thousands of years. Death can come suddenly, or at times it seems to lurk in the background for months, if not years. Death is inevitable. It stings. It hurts.
That’s what makes the message of Easter so awesome. There is One who did not remain in the grave. There is One who rose victorious over death. There is One who died, and then He came back to life. Easter has changed and continues to change the way we look at and respond to death. It is still inevitable, but it has been defeated. It will come, but it can not keep the faithful down.
There was no doubt in the Apostle Paul’s mind and heart concerning the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. In 1 Corinthians 15, he both defends and proclaims Christ’s victory over death. For Paul this was no small matter or a truth that could be easily ignored. For Paul, the One who died on the cross and who was then buried in a rich man’s tomb did indeed come back to life on the third day. This was not a wish or a strong feeling that Paul had. It was a fact. It was history.
Jesus is Alive! This Changes Everything.
Paul realized that hundreds saw the resurrected Jesus. It wasn’t just a few delusional disciples who were seeing things because they yearned to see Jesus. These were real people who all saw Jesus at the same time and their account was exactly the same. This must have astounded Paul and confirmed his own faith in the fact that Jesus came back to life. And this message helped Paul transform from a hater of Christ to being a Christ-follower. For Paul himself saw with his own eyes the resurrected Jesus.
Jesus is alive! This changes everything. We need not fear death for Jesus is the champion over death. We don’t have to say good-bye to our loved ones, but instead we can confidently say, “I will see you again.” It is a truth that rocked the world. I pray that it will be a truth that will settle yours.