05 Apr I Know That My Redeemer Lives
When I was growing up I was afraid of everything. If I stubbed my toe on the coffee table, I thought I’d get a blood clot which would undoubtedly kill me. I was afraid I’d get mauled by a bear in the woods, even if my dad was with me. I always rode a bike with a helmet unlike my daredevil cousins.
When I was in middle school, the fear of getting hurt or dying got a lot worse, though. I remember many occasions sitting in my room crying to my mom that I was afraid I would die and that if I did, I wouldn’t make it into Heaven. She would so faithfully try to encourage me and remind me that I had already made a profession of faith, that I was a Christian, and that nothing could snatch God’s kids out of His hands.
But it wasn’t until a few years later that I finally started to get over this crippling fear. I was at a summer youth conference in Florida, and the speaker we had that week hit me with an entirely new perspective on death that I had never considered. He said that in taking our sin and shame, dying for us, and rising again, Jesus Christ punched a hole through the back of death so that we could walk through it. I don’t know that man’s name or what the theme of that week was or anything else I heard that week, but I do know that as I sat there in a cold metal chair next to the rest of the students from my church, I felt peace about dying for the first time in my life.
“He said that in taking our sin and shame, dying for us, and rising again, Jesus Christ punched a hole through the back of death so that we could walk through it.”
Since that time, Easter has slowly but surely become my favorite holiday. Easter for me has become a celebration that physical death isn’t all there is—that Jesus paved a way for me to live eternally and destroyed what we fear the most.
Luke 24:1-6 tells us the story:
“ … On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen … ’” (ESV, emphasis added)
The grave could not hold Him. Death had no power over Emmanuel, God who is with us.
“Easter for me has become a celebration that physical death isn’t all there is—that Jesus paved a way for me to live eternally and destroyed what we fear the most.”
All of Christianity hangs on this fact that Jesus is alive. What would be the point of anything if He were dead? What would we have to hope in? If death had beaten Jesus, if He had been unable to destroy our enemy, there would be nothing to hope in, nothing to live for.
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection from the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14, 17-19, ESV).
“But, in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Jesus lives, brothers and sisters! He is alive!
“‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57, ESV).
Because Jesus is alive, because He has defeated death, I can have Someone to hope in, and I can have peace. Because Jesus is alive, I can choose to rest in the hope that awaits my grandmother in heaven. Because I know she trusts Jesus with her eternity, I can choose to see her Alzheimer’s as her trial, not her end. Because Jesus is alive, and because He’s coming back, I can rest in the fact that one day He will make everything right. All the ways I hurt, all my family drama and dysfunction, all the ways I am disappointed—He will bring justice. Because Jesus is alive, He is in control, and because of that, I don’t have to put my trust in a political leader or anyone else to fix everything. Because Jesus is alive, I can know I am never alone because He didn’t even let dying separate us. Because Jesus is alive, I can know what it means to be free.
“Because Jesus is alive, because He has defeated death, I can have Someone to hope in, and I can have peace.”
Because I serve a risen Savior, I can say with Job that “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold” (Job 19:25-27, ESV, emphasis added).
Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
-Robert Lowry, 1874
Hannah loves going for a drive, being by the water, and learning about anything at all. Getting a new stamp in her passport is her favorite feeling and she loves to sit on the porch on warm summer nights. She loves to make people laugh and cook them some supper. Hannah attends our Powdersville campus.