We fight many battles in our life and so can make or have many enemies, including our enemy the devil, who goes around like a roaring lion seeking to devour us. Our nation is divided over many important issues and people are going to battle verbally and physically. We often demonize those who oppose us and use every weapon we have to defeat them. We feel strongly and so we fight hard. Many battles must be fought, but there is one enemy we are certain to face and it is imperative that we be prepared to face it.
I was reminded of that battle yesterday as a twenty year old friend of my grandsons faced that enemy. I have watched Ian do battle on a high-school wrestling mat and cheered for him on many occasions, but this time I took his side by joining with others to pray for him as he fought for his life in a hospital bed with his family at his side. He lost that battle with death yesterday evening – or did he? This battle was different than the times he faced an opponent one to one on a wrestling mat. This time he had someone by his side fighting alongside him, and there is more to the battle than what could be seen in that hospital room.
Jesus Christ came to this earth to do battle on our behalf. He dealt with sickness, with injustice, with bigotry, with poverty, but we think most about that battle he fought on a hill outside of Jerusalem called Calvary. There he faced that enemy we will all face – death itself. It would appear that he too, lost that battle because he died on a cross in that place. His battle over, and his defeat seeming sure, the crowd that had gathered left except for a few who stayed to put him in a tomb. Just one more man who died and was buried.
Of course, as you well know, the story did not end there. Following his death on Friday Jesus rose from the grave on Sunday. He defeated death! He did so we are told not just for himself but for all who put their faith and trust in him. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul talks about Christ’s resurrection and tells us that those who are “In Christ” have life – eternal life!
Even Jesus battles his and our enemies. He will continue to do so until he defeats each one of them and we are told; “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor. 15:25-26 ESV) Death is real and each of us have an appointment to do battle, ” But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57 ESV)
The question for each of us is simple: are we prepared fo the battle we will inevitably be called to fight? Some at a young age, more of us at an old age, but all of us for sure will battle death. We have a choice. We can fight in our own strength and be defeated or we can rely on our Lord Jesus and have victory. he fights for those who are his. Are you?