One thing that the pandemic has brought to fore is how many hopeless people there are out there, who are primarily driven by their fear of dying. Up until the lockdowns started most people had kept that fear hidden away, locked in some dark corner of their life. But then, thanks but no thanks to CORONA, it was dragged out into the light of day and so many people could not deal with the reality of it all. They hid behind distance and doors and masks and hand cleaner, begging the government to hurray up with the shot that they just knew would save them.
That is not surprising, since Hebrews 2:15 talks about how Jesus came to “deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” The point I am making is not that Jesus can save you and free you from that fear, but that it really exists and it turns you in a slave, a lifelong slave to fear and verse 14 explains that the one who wields the power of death with all of its accompanying fear is the devil. Yes, the devil, who is real and desires your destruction. He wields our fear of death against us. It is his great power.
So my thought is that when someone relies on fear to try to control you, they are relying on the devil, since they are wielding his power and whether they believe it not, they are doing his bidding.
So one very sad thing this pandemic has shown me is how influential the devil has become; how well he is at controlling us through our fear of death. It makes me want to say what Paul said in Romans 7:24, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” It is the universal cry heard everywhere today…who will save me from this body of death?
Well it is not anything you can get out of a lab. It is one thing and one thing only: Jesus Christ and him crucified. There is no other solution, no other salvation. Every other option will fail you and leave you worse off than you were before. So if you haven’t already, do so now. Embrace the saving grace of Jesus Christ and wash yourself clean with his most precious blood from the slavery brought on by the fear of death. Embrace life, even life eternal, God’s gracious gift to those who seek him. Be free, be whole, be alive.
In John 12:34–36, Jesus beckons us to become children of the light and to follow the light while we have it. But he hints that the light will not always be with us. And to put a fine point on his message, Jesus – the Light – then departs and hides from his audience. The Lenten season each year leaves us a lot like Jesus’s crowd that day: in a darkness awaiting the return of Light. With Easter each year, the Light makes its triumphant return and our sanctuary fills with music. Nowadays, we can mark our calendar for the end of Lent, for our celebration of the return of Light. But Jesus’ warning to us still rings true. There are days when the light seems to be distant on the horizon or not there at all.