Once for All – Week of November 8, 2021
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Psalm 46: 10-11
Are you afraid of death? A 2019 report, which was published just months before the first case of COVID-19 appeared in the US, reported that 42% of Americans were either “somewhat afraid” or “very afraid” of dying. Some extreme life-extensionists put all their time and money into strategies and medicines that might help them live longer. Some people take 50 different pills a day to prolong their life! But electromagnetic mats, “antiaging hormones”, and eating green leafy vegetables cannot stop death. Nothing can conquer death. Ok, well. . . . except Jesus.
The truth is, all people will die, even though we try to avoid it. All people will either go to heaven or hell. God told the very first people on the earth that, because of sin, they would someday die. And, just like those first two people on earth, we are sinners. We disobey God all day every day and do not deserve his love. We, too, will die.
For some people, death is a scary thing because we know how sinful we are. We know that we can never do enough good to make up for the bad that we do. We know that no matter how hard we try, we cannot be “good enough” to get into heaven. Doing acts of kindness and “being good” will not and cannot earn a place in heaven.
But Jesus! Heaven is a gift, freely given because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus sacrificed his own life for ours. Jesus died for the sins of everyone. God’s Son, Jesus, died so that we might live forever after this earthly life. One man was sacrificed for all people, and God wants all people to be with him in heaven. Jesus conquers death!
So what do we do while we wait? God wants us to live for him. Even though we cannot earn our way to heaven, we try to obey the commands God has given us in his Word, the Bible. This is not easy! We have to constantly push against the sin and evil in this world and in our hearts. Even though we may fail, we try to obey him because this is one way that we show that we love him and trust him. We pray continually to God for strength to live for him.
When Jesus comes again, he will not see the sin in our heart. Because Jesus died for all, our sins are gone! Our hearts are clean, washed by the blood of our Savior. We do not need to be afraid of death. Jesus conquers death! When Jesus comes again, he comes to rescue us and all those who believe in his promise of heaven.
Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of heaven. Thank you for sacrificing yourself for all my sins and the sins of the whole world. Give me the strength to live my life for you and to help others find comfort in your saving word. Amen.
A Question to Consider:
What can you say to someone that tells you they are afraid of death? What words from the Bible can you use to comfort them?