Sir Francis Bacon concluded, “Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark.” William Shakespeare wrote, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste death but once.” And according to the writer of Hebrews, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
We all fear death – not only the loss of life, but the loss of anything or anyone so precious to us that losing it would feel like death.
The sum of all fears is the fear of death – the final loss of control. While we may be able to avoid some of the lesser losses in life, in the end we must all come to grips with the fact that no one cheats death – even though it will one day be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 21:4).
When Adam died that day in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t die physically. But something within him died, and he struggled with that loss until the day he physically died. Death involves more than the cessation of physical life. Death is separation. It is an inner emptiness, isolation, and loneliness that results from the severed bond between Creator and creature. It was the coming separation from the Father that Jesus Himself dreaded as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:38).
One of the great realities of the gospel is the freedom from the paralyzing fear of death that Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf provided.
- Two Pages after June 30, Vol. 12A, Our Daily Bread