Death of Death

A stranger walks up to a man and asks him, “What is your favorite thing in the world?” The man replies, “Classical music.” The stranger takes a gun and puts it to the man’s head. He says, “Okay, here is a mixed tape of the best classical music ever recorded. But in 60 minutes time I’m going to pull this trigger and bang, you will die.”

Question: Was the man able to enjoy the classical music? Was he able to appreciate his most favorite thing in the world? Or was he distracted by the threat of death? I suppose it was the latter. Knowledge of your impending death makes it hard to truly enjoy your favorite things in this world—whether that be classical music, ice skating, playing with your kids, going for a walk in the woods, whatever. The threat of death casts a pall over everything. Death renders everything—even your favorite things—meaningless.

Or does it? You see, on Good Friday, Jesus died. But on Easter Sunday, death died when Jesus rose from the grave and (this is significant) never died again. In his new, resurrected body, Jesus felt the warmth of the sun on his skin, savored breakfast on a beach, heard the sound of laughter in the company of old friends, and more. Jesus enjoyed some of these “favorite things” here on earth before he ascended to His Father in heaven. There, in the presence of God, even more joys awaited Him. They await us as well.

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” It is gone. The resurrection of Jesus Christ has put death to death and has robbed it of its sting. There is goodness and beauty and joy beyond our wildest imagining, all beyond the grave. There is much to look forward to. This is the hope of Easter. It is a hope that penetrates our gloom. It is a hope confirmed by the empty tomb.

Megan and I are celebrating Easter with a bunch of students. This morning, we will be with several of them at Redeemer Burlington; tonight, about a dozen of them will be coming to our home for an Easter dinner. Please pray for all of us. He is risen!

John Meinen, Campus Minister at Vermont
March 31, 2013 • 610-691-0988 • 631 Fourth Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18018