2 Timothy 1:10
"Christ Jesus ... has destroyed death, and has brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel." (2 Timothy 1:10b)
Of all the fears that grip the hearts of modern men and women, no fear is greater than the fear of death.
On this Easter Sunday we have lived through the bloodiest century in human history.
Today, a general can push a button in a remote location, and a Cruise missile
can find its target thousands of miles away.
Killing is easier now because we have weapons of mass destruction.
We can take out whole buildings and entire city blocks or even a whole city.
We know how to kill, but we don't know how to die.
When we face the prospect of our own death, we don't know what to do.
No one can avoid death or put it off.
When your time is up, your time is up.
This is a subject many do not wish to talk about.
The message of this day is thrilling.
Jesus overcame death, and came back to tell us about it.
Death could not hold him.
Our text declares that Jesus has destroyed death.
Older versions of this verse state that He has "abolished" death.
You might be thinking, if that is true why are people still dying.
It does not appear that death has abolished.
People still die every day.
The cemeteries fill up and new ones open.
We still have funeral homes, and saddened families.
And there is cancer, strokes, heart attacks, accidents, and unexplained tragedies.
Read the obituary section of the newspaper of any city,
and see that death is happening to people of all ages.
Death is all around us.
We are faced with death every day.
So, where is the resurrection?
How can we say that death has been abolished?
All of us are going to die.
That is certain!
So, if death has been abolished, why do we still die?
The Bible says that we die because of sin.
Romans 5:12 tells us that death came into the world because of Adam's sin.
Romans 6:23 declares: "The wages of sin is death..."
Sin always leads to death, and as long as there is sin, there will be death.
Death reigns in our city.
Our death is certain?
The life insurance industry is sure that we are going to die.
We buy life insurance because we are going to die.
We know that we are going to die, but we don't know the time of our death.
So, we pay the premiums in order to receive the benefits.
But to receive the benefits, we have to die.
And when we die, someone else gets the money.
Life insurance is based on a theological truth -- death reigns!
When you die, the coroner will fill out a death certificate for you.
There's a question on that certificate that asks for the "Cause of Death."
The answer on every death certificate should be: "Sin."
It is not sickness, nor diseases, nor accidents, and it is not old age.
Those are merely the symptoms.
The cause of death is sin.
So, how did Christ destroy death?
In II Timothy 1:10 the word, "destroyed," means "to render powerless".
When Jesus rose from the dead, he destroyed the power of death.
Jesus said, "Whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:26)
Death for the Christian is the passing from this world to our home in heaven.
Paul declared that to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
He was buried!
So, where is our hope?
Our hope is realized in what happened early on Sunday morning.
There was good news from the graveyard that Easter morning.
There's an empty tomb!
It's the tomb of Jesus Christ.
He died on Friday afternoon.
He was buried Friday evening, and, on Sunday morning, His tomb was empty.
God's good news is that death could not hold Him.
The grave could not keep Him.
Jesus is the Lord of life!
How did He destroy death?