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COVID-19 and the Fear of Death

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The headlines in our local newspaper stated the grim facts:

“Death toll reaches 2 million.”

The article then began with these disturbing words: “The global death toll from COVID-19 topped 2 million Friday, crossing the threshold amid a vaccine rollout so immense but so uneven that in some countries there is real hope of vanquishing the outbreak, while in other, less-developed parts of the world, it seems a far-off dream.”

How do you react to news like that?

Do you ever think about death? It’s been in the news for the past year in a way I’ve never seen in my lifetime. We hear about it constantly. The media keeps telling us, every day, how many people died the day before.

It’s also one of the main themes of the Bible. “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Jesus talked about death repeatedly. “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24).

The purpose of this article is to ask you a simple question: Are you afraid to die?

Fear of death is a common experience. It’s part of the human condition. But thanks be to God, Jesus came to save us from both death itself and the fear of death.

“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- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

According to Scripture, many people are slaves to the fear of death. Wow. That’s quite a statement. And the events of the past year bear witness to that reality, don’t they?

How about you? Are you afraid to die? I pose that question because I care about you and your eternal destiny.

The amazing truth of the verses quoted above is how Jesus liberates us from the fear of death. Did you notice the key phrase? “By his death.” It is through His own death that Jesus sets us free from our fear of death. Because He died, we can live forever. And the hope of eternal life in Christ provides the life-changing security we need to face death without fear. Amen?

In closing, here is Resolution #9 from Jonathan’s Edwards famous list of 70 resolutions: “Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.” Thinking much about death motivates me to think much about living each day as if it will be my last. It just may be.

Looking for more Bible reading tips?

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