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Your Biggest Fear
Today’s Reading: Hebrews 2:14–18

 
 


[Jesus] might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
(v. 14–15 NIV)


 

What’s your biggest fear? Snakes? Heights? Surveys indicate that people are more afraid of public speaking than of dying. As comedian Jerry Seinfeld points out, that means most people would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy.

That doesn’t seem right. I understand the fear of embarrassing ourselves in front of a group, but what could be worse than death? This may not sound spiritual, but death is what I fear the most. I really, really don’t want to die. That is why I’m a Christian.

During Advent, we celebrate the fact that God sent His Son into our world to defeat the devil and free us who were “held in slavery by [our] fear of death.” Notice that we’re not necessarily released from all fear, but from the bondage of those fears. It’s okay to fear death. Saint Augustine told his congregation, “Those who do not fear death should examine themselves closely lest perhaps they are in fact already dead.”

If you’ve never feared death, there is no chance you have given your life to Jesus. Why would you? He came to defeat an enemy that doesn’t trouble you. Christians are the last people who should minimize death. If we pretend death is no big deal, then neither is Jesus who conquered death for us.

Death stinks. Be honest about your fears, then put all your hope in Jesus—who dragged death into the tomb with Him, and rose again to leave death in the dust.

 
Michael E. Wittmer
 
Despite Doubt