Death’s Destruction

John 8:48-59


Intro: Last week we looked at the contrast between joy and sorrow with an emphasis upon joy in the New Testament. Today we look at the primary reason for this joy.


I. How Jesus argued with his critics


It is clearly a question of authority.


Jesus’ claims are outrageous. It is no wonder that C. S. Lewis argued that he can only be a liar, lunatic or Son of God. Statements like these leave no room for anything else.


We should take him literally, but realize that he is not describing the experience of the body; but rather, the experience of the spirit. Yes, our bodies will die but for our spirits it will be as if we simply passed through a door from one room to another. {An experience by the way that used to be more commonly witnessed before the age of modern medicine and sedation.} That is why he could say, Don’t fear those who can only kill the body (Luke 12). AS Luther wrote in his great hymn, “The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.”

The early Christians were fond of the image of sleep (I Thess. 4:14 “sleep in Jesus”).

 Imagine a child lying in bed playing with stuffed animals, she grows tired and does not even notice as she drifts off to sleep. The next thing she knows she is waking up to the morning sun streaming through her bedroom window.


II. A demonstration (John 11):


After raising Lazarus from the dead Jesus said: “Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever


III. Another argument with Critics (Sadducees)


Luke 20:27-39 “He is not the God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to Him.” (v.38) God gave us the gift of life. He made us for life not death. The Eagle nebula we spoke of last week with its trillions of miles of gas and dust is nothing compared to the wonderful complexity of a single human being!

IV. On the cross

 Luke 23:43 “Today with me you shall be in paradise.”

V. The Apostolic writings:

Given the kind of things Jesus taught it is no wonder that the apostles wrote what they wrote.

II Cor. 5:1-8 bodies as tents! Verse 8 says to go away from the body is to go home to the Lord. Paul adds that this would be pleasing.


My favorite text in this regard is one of the last Paul wrote. It is II Tim. 1:10. In context he is summarizing the Gospel that he proclaims and stressing that he is not ashamed of it. In verse 10 he writes that our Savior Christ Jesus has, on the one hand, abolished death, and on the other hand has brought to light life and immortality.


VI. So it is appropriate that the last book of the Bible introduces the glorified Jesus who says, “I myself am first and last, I was dead and now am living forever, and I have the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:17 & 18)

Conclusion: Perhaps you feel like the man in Mark 9. He was desperate as he called upon Jesus to help his son, who was demon possessed. Jesus said to him, “Everything is possible to the one who believes.” To this the man replied, “I do believe. Help my unbelief.” (v. 24)