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1 Corinthians 15: 26, 45, 47, 54b-57

26 “The last enemy to be eliminated is death.  45 So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’  The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  47 The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.  54b Now when the perishable puts on the imperishable and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen.  55 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.  Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ!”

The greatest fear of mankind according to one source, is public speaking.  Next to that is death.  When I was a child, I was afraid to die.  Mostly it was the uncertainty of and the manner in which that event would take place that I feared.  Or being taken sooner than I wanted.  Then I met Christ.  He conquered the fear of death and conquered my heart, as well.  I will never be the same.

What looked like defeat when God Himself was nailed to a cross was victory, instead!  The innocent was slain and satan thought he had won.  Instead, all mankind was covered with the blood of the sinless lamb, who defeated our enemy – death.

Jesus faced the fear of death as the perfect God-man.  The first Adam was given life by our Creator, God.  .Made in the image of God, he chose sin and separated all mankind from God.  Every offspring from then on was made in Adam’s image.  Until Jesus came.  This second Adam lived a perfect life and brought eternal life to all.  We were first born of Adam and now can be born again through Jesus.

When I first heard that terminology, “born again”, I thought the people who shared the Gospel with me were crazy.  So did Nicodemus, when he questioned Jesus about how one could be born again.  But because Christ rose from the dead, we, too, who believe in Him will rise.  And this hope we have is not in vain.

The more I walk with Him, the more I long to be with Him.  I do not desire to leave loved ones, but I realize that we who are in Christ were made for another world.  My former fear of death has been replaced with a perfect love that casts out all fear.  The longing in our hearts for eternity with God cannot be satiated by anything this world has to offer.

Today, as we celebrate Easter, may we pause and realize the effect of Christ’s obedience on the cross.  His resurrection means we no longer need to fear death – He crushed it and the head of the serpent.  Praise be to God!  Happy Easter!

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