This is part of the series “What is the Gospel?”
One of the most glorious realities of the Christian faith is that death has been defeated. In the crucifixion and death of Jesus I have the wonderful truth that God has died for my sin. When we couple this remarkable truth to the equally wonderful truth that Jesus was raised from the dead we are confronted with a new reality – Death’s power has been defeated. Paul tells us that it was through sin that death was introduced into the world [Romans 5:12]. It is because of this sin that death brings fear to our hearts and minds and we find our joy melting away. Paul again tells us in Romans 6:23a that “the wages of sin is death.” We have earned the death that we will suffer because of our tendency to do our own will rather than God’s. We have earned the penalty of sin, but God has done something so incomprehensible that most who hear this message don’t believe it.
Even though we have earned death, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” [Romans 6:23b]. Because Jesus took upon himself the punishment for sin He had not committed He was able to divert the justified wrath of God away from us. We still have to pass through the dark door of physical death. But through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross death is defeated and we no longer have to fear the destination that lies on the other side. If we follow Jesus He will lead us through death into new life.