Jesus Is Bigger Than Your Death Because He Is Bigger Than The Tomb

Text: Isaiah 25:6-9

In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

As we know, Death swallows up physical life, which is the harsh reality that we all face. Even though it is difficult to think about, Death has a very strong appetite for life.  


We must keep in mind that death feasts upon life in different ways. For example, sometimes Death nibbles away at life over decades until Death has devoured all of the life in a person. For example, a person can experience a battle with cancer for a couple of years and then, in the end, pneumonia and an infection. In other words, each of these is a small bite of Death, each inflicting pain and consuming valuable life in a person.  


Other times, though, Death swallows up life with one big bite. For example, a car accident, a massive heart attack, or a sudden stroke will take a whole person at once. Indeed, Death can take one big bit that eats up life at one time.      


Now, whether Death nibbles away at us or takes one big bite of us, it does not matter, for, in the end, Death devours us all. In the end, as you and I know, Death took feasts upon our lives.    


And so, here we sit in this morning, with Death licking its chops. We sit with the knowledge of Death’s appetite, and it makes us a bit uncomfortable. 


Now, you would think that with all the advancements in medical science, we would have the ability to stop Death and its appetite for physical life. However, the only thing that we have been able to do is to suppress Death’s appetite. But even so, in the end, Death still has to eat because Death has an enormous appetite for life.  


To the point; Death never stops hungering for life. Its appetite for life is intimidating and unsettling. There is no hiding from Death, for it always has a way of sniffing out physical life. There is no way of suppressing Death’s appetite, for it always hungers. And there is no way to conquer Death, for it is just too powerful – its teeth are just too sharp, and its jaw is just too powerful.  


But in spite of all of this, we gather in this sanctuary this morning with a glimmer of hope. We even have confidence and assurance in spite of what has just been mentioned about Death’s appetite. That is right; we sit here in our pews with rest and peace, contrary to all appearances. 

You see, we are gathered into this sanctuary knowing full well that Death devours life and that we can do nothing about Death, yet we have peculiar confidence. We may even have a bit of a sneer on our faces towards Death. We may even have a bit of a taunting grin towards Death.   


So, why the confidence? Why the assurance? Why the rest? Why the peace? It is because we know something about Death that is a game-changer. We know something about Death that changes everything. And that is this – the Lord will swallow up Death forever!  


In the Old Testament reading from the prophet Isaiah, we hear that contrary to all appearances and contrary to all that we know about Death, the tables have been turned on Death. That is right; Isaiah tells us that things have been overturned, altered, and changed with Death. You see, Isaiah gives a full staggering promise that ‘the Lord’ will swallow up Death forever.  


Did you hear that?  Yes, my friends, did you hear this promise?  


Isaiah says that ‘the Lord’ will swallow up Death. Death which devourers us as its prey, is actually prey to Lord. As they say, there is always a bigger fish. And that bigger fish is none other than Christ. And so, there is Someone that swallows Death – that is Jesus. Jesus is Death’s destruction. Jesus is Death’s plague. As Death swallows up life, Jesus swallows up Death.  


But wasn’t Jesus devoured by Death on Good Friday? Yes, He was. But keep in mind that Jesus gave up His life on His own accord, and death was not something that forced Jesus into the grave as if Jesus was some sort of helpless victim. No, Jesus gave Himself into Death for you and me. He did this as an act of love. He became obedient to Death on a cross on our behalf.  


And after Jesus gave Himself into Death, well… we know the rest of the story. He ripped a hole in Death’s belly. He shattered Death’s jaws. He knocks the sharp teeth out of the mouth of Death. Yes, through Christ’s Death and resurrection, He actually swallows up Death forever.    


So, when the Lord swallows up Death? Well… the implications of this are quite profound; Death comes to an end for you and me.  


Dear friends, just like a whirlpool in an ocean or a black hole in space that absorbs and pulls everything into itself - anything that comes near it – well, when the Lord swallows Death, Death is abolished. It is removed. It ceases to have its way.  


This is why the Apostle Paul taunts Death the way that he does in the Epistle of 1 Corinthians. Listen to the Apostle Paul, what he says to Death: 


“Death, you are swallowed by triumphant life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”


You see, the Apostle Paul knows that it was in that makes Death so frightening. But the Apostle Paul also knows that in a single victorious stroke of life, all three – sin, guilt, and Death – are gone because of Jesus.  


And so, today, this Resurrection morning, you and I have confidence like Isaiah and the Apostle Paul that Death is swallowed in triumphant life. We know that we have a Savior that is not Death to us but life. We know that Jesus is not kind to our Death, but on the great last day, He will come and unite our soul and body - resurrecting us from the dead. Yes, on that great last day, the Lord will reunite your body and soul together, making you fully alive. And on that great day, the graves will literally burst forth and cough you up – alive. On that great day, you will be delivered from the jaws of Death forever because of Christ, who is the victor over Death.  


Baptized Saints, hear the good news this day: Jesus swallows Death. Jesus is bigger than your Death because He is bigger than the tomb. Therefore, have confidence, assurance, rest, and peace this day.


The nail-scarred hands of Jesus will draw you safely out of sin. The pierced feet of Jesus snapped shut the jaws of eternal Death. The resurrected Lord will call you forth from the tomb on the great last day – uniting body and soul forever. And so, today, we taunt Death saying, 


“Death, you are swallowed by triumphant life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”


In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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