Summary: Paul in discussing the resurrection of Christ states that Christ has taken the sting out of or defanged death.
Introduction: Easter Sunday is a great day of celebration. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Garden Tomb. We celebrate His victory over sin, Satan, and death. Paul in discussing the resurrection of Christ states that Christ has taken the sting out of or defanged death. If you say there is no sting to death, go to the hospital and observe its sting as a husband watches life ebb from his dying wife. Go to the funeral home and observe the faces of those who pass by the open casket. Listen when the doctor pronounces that you have a terminal illness from which you will not recover. This morning as we think of our risen Lord I want you to consider that death is man’s greatest enemy, which he has vainly sought to conquer. Christ has achieved what man cannot and offers us the victory today.
I. Death is man’s greatest enemy
A. Death is often described as a terror.
1. Psalm 55:4 “My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
2. Job 18:14 “…the king of terrors.”
B. Francis Bacon wrote, “Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark.”
C. The fear of death is not biological, but spiritual. There is no physiological reason for man to fear death. In our natural state, however, all men fear death. If we are merely the product of evolution or existence by chance, then there is no reason to fear extinction or non-existence. But within man is a soul that tells him that there is something more than non-existence; that there is a God and existence beyond the grave. There is within the heart of man a fear of impending judgment and the potential of eternal torments.
D. Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”
E. Some one has said that there are three reasons why most men fear death. Some fear that they shall lose their worldly honors, riches, possessions, and all their heart’s desires. Others fear because of the painful diseases and bitter suffering, which many go through, either before or at the time of death. But the number one reason, the chief cause above all others, is the dread of the miserable state of eternal damnation both of body and soul, which they fear will follow, after their departing from the worldly pleasure of this present life. – adapted from Monte Kuligowski
F. Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
II. Man has vainly sought to conquer death.
A. Woody Allen is quoted as having said, “The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. Death is absolutely stupefying in its terror.” He went on to say, "I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
B. In Johnny Hart’s comic strip "B.C.," a man climbs to the top of a mountain to seek a guru. "Oh, great Guru," he asks, "what is the secret of life?" The guru answers in two words "Don’t die!"