Summary: One day Jesus taught the disciples why He had no fear of death.
One day Jesus taught the disciples why He had no fear of death. He said, "No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again." (John 10:18) God has appointed time, place and reason why everyone will die. The Lord’s ways are perfect. Jesus warned people not to fear physical death, but spiritual death that would separate them from God for eternity. Jesus prescribed a medicine for death when He said, "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24) The Lord wants everyone to enjoy spiritual life so that they will have no fear of physical death.
1. Jesus knew that the heavenly Father was His shepherd. Christ claimed the promise of Psalm 23:4 that says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with Me." This great promise assures us that the Lord will abundantly supply His enabling grace to take us through life’s most difficult valleys. The Lord wants us to not fear death because to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. (Jn.11:25) Final death is ruled out when we place our faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. If all people would accept Christ’s medicine for death they could conquer all fears
2. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, His burial and resurrection paid the penalty for the sins of all people who are willing to accept His substitutionary payment for sins by faith. He has tasted death for every man says the writer of Hebrews 2:9. Christ died on the cross as a complete sacrifice for the past, present and future sins of anyone who is willing to accept Him as their Savior. (Eph. 2:8,9) Christ died as a ransom for mankind.
3. Jesus knew that death is essentially caused by disobedience to God. "When lust is conceived is gives birth to sin and when sin comes to fruition is brings forth death." (James 1:15) Paul also wrote, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)
4. Jesus knew that at the time of death a person would be separated from their body. Each individual’s soul and spirit either goes to heaven or hell – there is no holding camp. The Lord said to the believing thief on the adjacent cross atop Calvary, "Today, you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43) The writer of Hebrews wrote, "As it is appointed to man once to die and after that the judgment." (Heb. 9:27)
5. Jesus did not fear death because He knew it would not require Him to say good bye, but "good night" to his fellow believers. When Jesus found that Lazarus had died He said, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." (John 11:11) Take comfort in the fact that physical is not an end of our relationships, but an introduction to an eternal of everlasting friendships in heaven.
6. Jesus taught everyone to consider the brevity and temporary status of his or her earthly life. He said, "This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." (Lk. 12:20,21)
7. Jesus warned everyone to be ready for physical death at anytime. He said, "You must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him." (Luke 12:40) Christ wants all people to avoid the temptation to think that death is something they will not have to concern themselves with until they elderly. Our life, death and times are in His hands.
8. Jesus warned people that those who refused to accept His forgiveness would spend an eternity in the fires of hell. Jesus told a story about a rich man who went to hell and cried out, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire." (Luke 16:24) There will be no second chance for those who fail to receive Christ as their Savior.
9. Jesus promised to regenerate all those who believed in His atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins by making all believers a permanent part of His heavenly family. He said, "Whoever receives Him and believes in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." (John 1:12,13) With this assurance we can confidently go through life not fearing death knowing that we are promised a home in heaven.