Summary: The Bible tells us that man has always feared death. But Jesus give us the reason to overcome that fear by offering us resurrection. How can we lay hold of that promise and how does it change our lives?
OPEN: We’ve been talking about iPods the past few weeks, and as we’ve mentioned before iPods are a wondrous playthings, capable of storing and playing thousands of your personal favorite songs at the touch of button. But iPods do not magically perform this service. They need power.
Where do iPods get their power from? (batteries).
That’s right, just like numerous other electric devices, iPods run on batteries. Fortunately, due to the wonder of science, iPods are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can play music on some iPods for up to 14 hours on a charge. And these wondrous power sources can be recharged up to 500 times and have an estimated lifespan of 3 years.
And as I was researching that information, I discovered that scientists are even working now on a new technology (nanowire batteries) that could increase the playing power of the iPod 10 times (140 hrs per charge).
You could say: the life of the iPod is its battery.
Without that battery there is no life, no power… no music.
However, as I was researching this topic online I noticed that there was one issue that some users complained a lot about? Do you think you know what that is? That’s right – the durability of their iPod’s batteries.
ILLUS: Back in September of 2004, Casey Neistat of New York City discovered that the battery in his 1st-generation 5-gigabyte iPod could no longer hold a charge for more than an hour. So he called Apple. Unfortunately for him, Apple basically advised him to buy a new iPod (their prices at the time ranged from $300 to $500 a piece) because they didn’t have a battery replacement policy at the time. Neistat was upset. And he decided that – since Apple wasn’t going to replace the battery for him, he’d do it himself. He bought an off brand battery for $50, set down to open his iPod… and promptly broke it. Now, it didn’t matter what kind of battery he had, it would never work again.
Neistat was so infuriated that he started an internet site called ipodsdirtysecret.com which featured a video of him spray-painting the phrase: "iPod’s unreplaceable battery lasts only 18 months" all over lower Manhattan.
That got Apple’s attention, and they began offering a replacement service for $99.
(Just as a disclaimer here: Apple is consistently ranked #1 in product quality and support by leading consumer groups, such as Consumer Reports).
APPLY: Now I don’t blame Apple for the problem. They figured a battery’s only going to last so long anyway… so why get so upset? But in spite of the fact that it’s a fact of life that a battery will eventually age and die they soon discovered… people did get a little upset. People don’t react well to death… even if it’s the death of their iPod.
And people don’t react well to their own death’s either
One wit once said: “I am not afraid to die. It’s just that I can’t get up much enthusiasm for it.”
But despite that humor, most people do fear death.
Sigmund Freud - the father of psychiatry - observed “… finally there is the painful riddle of death, for which no remedy at all has yet been found, nor probably will ever be!”
Years ago, a song writer named Randy Newman (a rock musician in the 70s, who has since written the musical scores for “Toy Story”, “Monsters Inc”, and other movies), was being interviewed by a magazine back in the 70s and responded to one question by saying:
“I think religion is tremendously powerful force. How else is someone going to face the horror of everything ending?”
Knowing Newman to be an atheist, the reporter shot back: “So how do you face it?”
Newman replied: “I don’t. I joke around…”
Throughout my files, I have stories of people who’ve struggled with the fear of death because it is a reality in this world that most people are uncomfortable with death. They’re afraid of death.
And that’s what the Bible teaches us in Hebrews 2:15 – it says the major reason Jesus took on the form a man and died on the cross, was to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Jesus came to free us from that fear of death.
That’s why, throughout the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly said things like:
"I am the way and the truth and the life...” John 14:6
“... Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19
“…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” John 11:25
Jesus freed us from the fear of death by dying on the cross AND THEN by personally overcoming that death by His resurrection. When Jesus rose from the dead, He broke the bonds of death.