In just a few days we will be celebrating one of the greatest miracles known throughout history. An innocent man was put to death for claiming equality with God, and he took on the punishment which rightfully belonged to others. Days later, he was resurrected and walked among us again. He conquered death. This is the central theme of the gospel, and without it, there is no good news. In his resurrection, he has overcome sin and death and enables us to do the same through him. This is good news, and once it is realized, the fear of death also dies.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
There are things that we face every day that can cause fear and anxiety in our lives. Some might seem reasonable to us (e.g. concern for children, losing a job, fear of a speeding ticket) and some might seem more irrational. Often the core of many fears revolve around things such as fear of not being accepted or loved, fear of the unknown or of losing control of a situation, fear of not having enough (money, food, etc) to be self-sufficient, fear of losing what we have (youth, popularity, possessions, loved ones), or fear of death. You name it, there is a phobia for it. I heard part of an interview with horror writer Stephen King some time ago, and he mentioned his worst fear was not of any of the monsters or characters he writes about, but is most afraid of losing his memory and identity through a disease such as Alzheimer’s. Each of us has things that concern us that we would not wish on anyone.
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. John 11:25
In 1933, FDR is credited as saying “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and to a degree he is right. Children learn and grow and develop a natural fear of things that will harm them and lean toward self-preservation, as opposed to those who might say ‘watch this’ and then proceed to do something they regret. But when taken to an extreme, fear can paralyze you from taking action or become debilitating and leave you incapable of leading a normal life. So how does one overcome these fears, whether big or small, that can keep us from moving forward? By giving up our lives to Christ, and trusting in him, we no longer have to worry about or fear anything in this physical word that can harm us, including death, as he has overcome even that!
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:8-11
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. I John 4:18
When we understand His love for us, as much as we are able, there is no room left for fear. We can move forward in the truth without fear of consequences from any man or from God, as we are his when we surrender to him. This is one of the most freeing things in the world, to have no fear of what has happened in the past, or in what lies ahead as we move forward in obedience to him. Just knowing you are forgiven and loved because of Christ. That is a message worth sharing. Since it is easy to slip back into fear and want to take back control when things don’t go our way, we often need reminders that God is in control. His Word is full of reminders of the truth.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
So, as you take time to reflect a little in the coming days on the significance of the Resurrection of Christ in your life, remember that he is still alive and inviting you to experience a fuller life that is free of fear when given over to him. A life enabled to do what he is calling you to do, and to go where he is calling you to go. In him is life – real life.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
Courage and life in Christ,