What is your greatest fear? Now I know we’re afraid of stuff like public speaking, spiders, snakes, needles, and heights. But on a more destructive note, fear of rejection, shame, loneliness, the unknown, pain, loss of freedom, failure, and death (#1) top most lists.
Seems like for each of these fears, Jesus is the answer…even for our greatest fear. The angels who boldly attest to both the birth and resurrection of Jesus tell us, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:10, Matthew 28:10). Twice their words assure us that because He came to earth clothed in flesh and because He rose from the grave to conquer death, we need not fear.
“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through FEAR OF DEATH were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:14-15 NASB).
Have you ever noticed at every funeral recorded in scripture that Jesus attended someone rose from the dead? At the funeral of a widow’s only son in Nain, at the home of Jairus where his 12-year old daughter had just died, and at the tomb of His close friend Lazarus – each experienced the power of resurrection.
Resurrection in scripture is the Greek word “anastasis”. “Ana” = “against” and “stasis” = “a state or condition that does not change, move or progress.” “Stasis” may be an accurate description of death, but it is the farthest possible extreme from the vibrant, abundant, eternal life Jesus came to give.
Jesus is ana-stasis. How can death reign in the presence of The Lord of Life? Life flows from Him. He is Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. When Jesus says, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19 NASB), He is not only talking about later in heaven, He is also talking about now on earth.
If spring has anything to say, it’s that death doesn’t have the last word. Flowers fade, petals fall, but so do seeds. And as winter melts into spring, so life arises from apparent death. Blossoms and leaves burst forth from skeleton-like trees. Withered fields of decay suddenly awaken with vibrant color. Life, not death, is the victor! Behold the miracle of transformation in the hand of the Creator.
Perhaps today you are feeling a little like that barren field or maybe like a seedling buried in darkness under the icy snow. I have good news: Fear not! Jesus came to set you free to flourish in the warmth of His glory! And like the rest of creation in springtime, this Lord of Life is calling you to wake up, rise from the dead, and fully live.
“For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you’” (Ephesians 5:14 NASB).
© 2014 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries