“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself (Jesus Christ) likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14, 15)
Let’s face it, there aren’t too many sane people who cherish the thought of dying! Sometimes people don’t mind if others were to pass away (a euphemism for dying); but as for themselves, they seek to avoid any thought thereof. The very thought of dying seems to enslave them. Often, their response to the unnerving news of their soon departure from this life is one of depression and morbidity. Here are some of their thoughts:
- I’m not old enough to experience this.
- Is there any way to escape?
- What will happen to my family?
- What have I accomplished in this life – – if anything?
- What will happen to me personally at my death?
- Why me?
- Why was I born in the first place?
One is suddenly faced with reality! I would sometimes ask my students what it is that bothers people about death. A number of them responded, “I guess, it’s the fear of the unknown.” In other words, ignorance of what might happen (better known as agnosticism). I retorted with another possibility, “Could it be that people who face death (all humans) are really fearful of that which is known?”
The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews states it very frankly,
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (9:27). Here is where we now turn to the hope that only God can give us. For those who will turn to Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, to them He gives everlasting life, removes their bondage to fear any demise and assures His forgiveness of/for their sins. Let me end with a very positive and hope-giving promise from God Himself: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)! Trust Him and Him alone to free you from your fears and give you His gracious salvation! That’s release!!