by Tony Nester

Impossible for Death to Hold Him
Tony Nester
Acts 2:14a,22-32

In verse 24 of today's Scripture the Apostle Peter
refers to the grip of death. It was impossible, says
Peter, for death to keep Jesus in its grasp. When
Jesus died Death grasped on to him with the same clasp
by which it had tightened its fingers around everyone
who had gone to their grave. Everything that Peter
says about the resurrection he says "knowing the grip
of death."

The Bible never minimizes death. Read the Bible and
you'll be forced to confront Death. I suspect one
reason why many people don't like to read the Bible is
because there's so much about death in the Scriptures.
The Bible is full of material about all the different
dimensions of Death (with a capital "D"): physical
death, spiritual death, suffering, anguish, despair,
judgment and Hell. The "good news" of the Bible
stands out in bold relief from the bad news of sin,
death, and judgment.

The people to whom Peter preached in Acts 2 knew that
the grip of death was unbreakable. "But that's why we
have Heaven!" you say. Well, yes and no. Yes, we
believe that death will not have the last word. But
no, people don't come back from the dead. Death does
deprive us of life and the life of those we love. Our
grief and loss is real - with real pain and real
tears. The grip of Death remains.

This is why we should be vary careful about the
stories we make up about death and dying - especially
the stories we tell children.

I know about a seven year old boy whose cousin died at
the age of three. The boy asked his mother, "Where is
my cousin now?" The mother did not believe in
Christianity or in any form of life after death. She
wanted to be honest with her son and not bring Heaven
into his mind as a fantasy. She had read a book about
talking to children about death and used it to give
her son an explanation.

She told him, "Your cousin has gone ...

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