These are just a few pictures of heroes from familiar comic books. Superman is to be admired for his Super strength. Batman is admired for his ability to strike fear into the hearts of evil people. Spider Man is admired for his conscience. But the greatest hero, the one who won the real victory, is Jesus Christ. Do we look at Jesus as a hero?
We should! Jesus won the only real battle that matters, the battle over death. Death is feared by every living thing. In order to avoid death (even the slightest bit of suffering) we will do almost anything. That is normal – it is part of our survival instinct. But for all the technological and social advances that we have achieved, we will never cheat death. It will overtake us. Again, we run as fast as we can in the other direction when we approach death. Consequently, it could be said that the power that we respect the most is death, for it is the most inevitable and feared power of all.
Instead of running away from death, the Eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ, sprinted towards it. Jesus was born to die! He was born to run headlong into the most violent and senseless of deaths. He did this freely! Make no mistake – when Jesus was on the Cross, He had them just where He wanted them. It was no accident. As Jesus said, “This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
Jesus went right into death itself. He was wrongly condemned, terribly scourged and mocked, made to carry His heavy Cross, and then Crucified. Jesus was mercilessly slaughtered and swallowed by death. On the third day, Jesus exploded death when He Resurrected! Jesus walked through the darkest valley of death, and out the other side. He triumphed over death! He destroyed it in Himself. Now, if we have faith in Him, Jesus will destroy death in us!
So, if we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, through faith and good works, we have nothing to fear from death. Its victory over us will only be temporary. All of creation awaits the day when it will be freed of its slavery to death. Our souls long to be free from the corruption of the devil, and of our own wayward desires. We long for victory. We have it in Christ, although its fullness has yet to be realized.
Do you realize that, in Christ, death has no power over you? You, too, will enter into death, but will destroy it through Christ living in you. How might believing in this fact change your lifestyle today?