The Final Enemy

Some thoughts on Wednesday of Easter Week

1 Corinthians 15.20-28


Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

This is the simplest of all our Christian creeds, yet it contains the most central facts of all.

For without these three facts – Christ’s death, resurrection and return – we have nothing really to hope for.

In Jesus we see the beginning of the world being put back to how it should be, and how it was always meant to be.

For Jesus comes to conquer everything which tears the world away from its true purpose and nature as a good, beautiful, love-filled and worshipful place in harmony with its Creator.

Jesus comes to put an end to sin and evil, suffering and sorrow.

And he comes, above all, to put an end to death, the result of the ways in which the world has gone wrong.

For death is the ultimate enemy.

There’s a poem which is popular at funerals, perhaps in an attempt to soften the blow of bereavement, but which I really don’t like.

It’s the poem that begins Death is nothing at all.

Apologies if you happen to like this poem but to me it denies the reality of what death is.

Death is something, something terrible has happened, and nothing is how it used to be.

I know it’s a hard reality to face but denying the true tragedy of death can lead us in the long run to all sorts of emotional and even physical problems down the line.

Death is an enemy of all the goodness, beauty, power and love of God’s good creation because it destroys all the things that God has made.

And in the death, resurrection and future return of Jesus we see the defeat of death.

Though his death, Jesus takes on our sin and hurts, releasing us from them and destroying the power of evil.

In his resurrection, Jesus overcomes death’s hold on humanity and breaks its curse.

And when Jesus comes again he will bring about our resurrection into eternal life, where there will be no more death, no more sin and no more sorrow.

Of course we haven’t seen death’s full defeat yet but in Jesus’ death and resurrection we see the beginning.

His rising from the dead is our guarantee for the future.

And so we can have hope, even when everything seems dark and uncertain, because

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.


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