Our Lenten Devotion for Monday, March 28, comes to us from Steadfast Love which features reflections and prayers by Ed Arle and Gil Duchow with inspiration from the works of Henri J.M. Nouwen.
14 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— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15 NIV
“Freed from the Fear of Death”
“Dear Lord Jesus, you, eternal Word of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, one in being with the Father, you showed me your divine love by taking on human flesh, living our human life and dying a human death – a death on a cross. But your love is stronger than death.” (from Heart Speaks to Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 49Henri)
We sometimes live as though we are going to live forever. But disease, accident or aging may bring death to our doorstep. The first worldwide pandemic in 100 years overwhelmed us with a frightening new virus and a staggering number of deaths. Almost overnight, our comfortable way of life was shattered. Suddenly people everywhere were living in fear of death.
There is only One who can free us from the fear of death. Jesus Christ has conquered death for us. He lived our human life, with all of its trials, and died a horrendous, lonely death. However, by going through death and emerging triumphant, Jesus destroyed the power of death, thereby setting us free from our slavery to sin and death and Satan.
As Christ’s victorious disciples, we gladly share his light and love and new life with those who are still living in darkness and the dread of death.
Trusting God in Christ is indeed a path to ease us through the journey during which we must come to terms with the reality of our own death. That fear, which has indeed become more intense in light of the current pandemic, is universal and understandable. But Christ offers us hope, even as we look into the very uncertain future.
Lord of life and death, move us by your Spirit to share your victory over death with those who are living in fear of death. Amen.