‘Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,’
As you read this passage from Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet soliloquy, think about how it expresses the fear of death.
“Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of (Shakespeare in Hamlet)?”
It is uncanny how many people die. For something as common as death, how does it wield such power over our living? Death is the foe that wealth, health, and wisdom cannot beat. Death is the arch nemesis of life, isn’t it? No matter how well we live, we all die.
Hebrews 2 tells us the devil wields death like a weapon against the living. But Jesus is a hero that fearlessly faces humanity’s ultimate foe and is not swallowed up by it. Jesus enters death, not with his head held low in defeat, but with a victory shout for all who want to live without the fear. Death, fear, and the devil, and fear pull out all the stops as they try to defeat the author of life, but they cannot. In fact, as the great hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God says, “One little word shall fell him.” It was the last mistake that Death would make to face the life-speaker and expect that his words would not win.
Today, live in the knowledge that not even death can destroy you. Jesus already won that battle. To help you reflect on this, listen to the hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and maybe write your own verse to the melody about how this truth changes life.
By Aaron Bjorklund