Scripture reading: John 11:21–26
Key verse: Hebrews 2:14
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.
The duke of Wellington once remarked that “man must be a coward or a liar who could boast of never having felt a fear of death.”
Samuel Johnson, the British essayist, commented that “no rational man can die without uneasy apprehension.”
While the prospect of death can create emotional conflict even for Christians (death is still our enemy, though a defeated one), the sure hope of the Resurrection settles our souls.
“Jesus Christ is able to set free even those who all their lives have been ‘held in slavery by their fear of death,’ ” writes John Stott in The Cross of Christ.
This is because by his own death he has “destroyed” (deprived of power) “him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
Christ had died for our sins and taken them away. With great disdain, therefore, Paul likens death to a scorpion whose sting has been drawn, and to a military conqueror whose power has been broken. Now that we are forgiven, death can harm us no longer.
So the apostle shouts defiantly: “Where, Oh death, is your victory? Where, Oh death, is your sting?” There is of course no reply.
Until Christ returns, we must face the physical and emotional pain of death. Yet our perplexity and fear can be displaced by the reality of the Resurrection, when death was overthrown.
Father, when I face the physical and emotional pain of separation from loved ones, help me realize that death is overshadowed by the reality of the Resurrection.
 Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 381). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.