Since the children have flesh and blood,
he too shared in their humanity so that by his death
he might break the power of him who holds the power of death
that is, the devil
and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
This may seem morbid, but I promise you, it has a happy ending, so please keep reading. When Bruce was first diagnosed with cancer, all sorts of fears surfaced, the biggest being the fear of death. We didn’t face it openly. We didn’t talk about it or even allow our thoughts to go there. But, still, you know how fear is, it hangs around and haunts and taunts and tries to break denial into tiny little pieces. And that is just what happened, the denial gave way and we were left with facing that fear.
We discussed it. We cried. We prayed. We held each other. We cried some more and prayed some more. We held each other some more. We checked life insurance policies and Social Security benefits and mapped out a way that our son and I could financially survive should this possibility become reality. Fear lost some of its power. There was no real way to face the emotional aspects of this but we found peace and joy in knowing that should Bruce pass on, God would be with us and Bruce would be in a beautiful place surrounded by beautiful people all enjoying beautiful health and wholeness. Fear lost more of its power. Peace came easier and we knew that whatever came, we would face it without fear.
I just read a wonderful article by Dr. Alex Lickerman in Psychology Today. He writes of his journey to overcome his fear of death. He comes to this conclusion after much soul-searching and anguish about his perceived imminent death… “even more desirable than being able to die peacefully is being able to live fearlessly”.
Imagine facing cancer or a divorce or a reversal in finances or addiction in a loved one without fear. Imagine how much of what the situation brings your way is cloaked in fear and removing that fear would make the situation lose some of its power to leave you crippled and emotionally wrung out. Can you imagine that?
Jesus, knowing these things would come our way, knowing our inclination to let fear rule our lives, knowing our deep need to stay in denial and live in fear of death, chose to fear us from that burden of fear. He chose to slip into a human body, so that He could take in His body all that fear could throw at us and ultimately set us free from its power to destroy our lives.
We will all die; we know that, but we don’t have to live in fear of that. We can live in peace knowing that Jesus won the victory for us and fear and death have no real power over us. And when that day comes when our bodies are laid to rest, He will call our name and we will rise to new life with Him forever.
I told you this has a happy ending, didn’t I?
How have you been crippled by the fear of death?
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, what a wonder You truly are. How it must sadden You to see us living with the fear of death, allowing it to cripple and maim us when You so willingly and lovingly paid the price to free us from that power the devil would hold over us. I am amazed by You, in awe of You, and so very grateful for You. Thank You. What a glorious day that will be when You call my name and I see You face to face! I love You. Amen.
picture credit: examiner.com