But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Reflection: Too Much to Hold
By John Tillman
Jesus is more than death can hold. It tried. Death can hold worlds, countries, massive unnumbered masses. But Christ could not be contained or held back. It was his purpose to defeat death, the last enemy, and to bring forth in freedom death’s hostages, and restore back to us what the great monster has taken.
Death for the Christian is similar to death for Christ. It is painful. It is the worst of suffering imaginable. It is unjust. It is to be mourned. It is to be wept for.
But it is not permanent.
Even a “good death,” the kind we wish for because we would prefer not to face death’s reality, is an event of great sorrow and injustice. Death is not truly softened by its circumstances. He is still a thief, our enemy. But for the Christian, there is one who comes to reclaim and restore what is stolen.
Too Much To Hold
In Adam, we are sold and chained
To sin and death were given
Our bodies made to walk with God
Betray us and decay, short of Heaven
More than victims of this crime
But perpetrators too
The sin of Adam in our line
We aptly join his queue
Sin is the sting of death’s attack
The poison in his bite
It paralyzes, terrorizes,
As we sink beyond the light
Like Jonah sunk, beneath the earth
A dark and hopeless pit
Into that pit our savior slides
His mission to open it
Death’s jaws, snake-like, can swallow worlds
But cannot contain their maker
Christ is too sweet to see decay
The monster gets no supper
In Christ, we are made to be like him
Too much for Death to hold
Grasped by him a moment
But he cannot hold our souls
Our defeated flesh will be restored
It will not stay enslaved
Transformed and made eternal
Not abandoned in the grave
Adam sold his unborn kin to death
Turned creation over to sin
Second Adam brings the children back
Eve’s seed, crushing death, freedom wins
Prayer: The Morning Psalm
For with you is the well of life, and in your light we see light. — Psalm 36.9
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Joshua 22 (Listen – 6:16)
Acts 2 (Listen – 6:35
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Read more about Stealing Death’s Sting
God is glorified through Christ’s sacrifice. Sin is defeated by his death, and death is defeated in his resurrection. Christ conquers sin, stealing death’s sting and the grave’s victory.
Read more about He Stoops to Raise
He sinks, He digs, He slides, Prostrates. Below our sin…Below Hell’s gates
And then he lifts…