The Defeat of Death
Have you ever considered the music of Death?
With a void face which looks like no other acquaintance of ours, Death, the great enemy of God and man, tries to imitate the interruptions of God’s grace with interruptions of his own. Writing himself into the calendar of each person’s life he never calls ahead for convenience sake. He never takes into account the havoc wreaked by his unannounced visits. He never acts with a view towards building up…his is the work of tearing down. Yet, there he stands, unable to be tamed by man though many carry the illusion of containment on their plastic faces. There he stands, the giver of demise for all on-takers bellowing out the boastful claim that “I am the King of Terror…who shall escape the edge of my invisible sword?” In vain we try to beautify his terror with overpriced boxes of concealment, modest canisters of containment and dolling up of the dead only to be met with the sober reality that when death deals out his handy work it is neither beautiful nor concealable. Though the eyes may be soothed with an image which less resembles the work of death, the ears which hear only silence where the sounds of a child’s voice used to occupy, which hear the great nothing where Dad’s wise council used to dwell, which hear the painful hush where a wife’s singing voice used to reside, are never fooled…For this variety of silence is the dreadful music death plays.
In his wake are the countless victims that have fallen at his bidding and he revels in the thought that in every corner of the earth, every small town, every bustling city, every quaint village and every community, his fingerprints can been seen. Staking his claim on lives and land all at once, he makes himself known to the young and old, the wise and foolish, the righteous and unrighteous alike. But… there is one corner of the earth which He dreadfully shuns. Its precise location is debated by man but forever etched in Death's mind. Though unassuming in appearance and unimportant to a majority of those who have yet to shake Death's hand, it is a place where his horrifying terror is swallowed up in a holy terror. It is the only place he has ever felt weak, helpless and without power. Like so many times before it was a place where his stench and sting would reside…or so he thought. Like every other victim whom he had cut down with what amounts to no resistance whatsoever, this was to be a run of the mill victory…one not unlike all the others he had procured for himself. A victory it would be!
What was at one time an empty tomb is now occupied by what appears to be an absent body. A body that had been wrapped in concealing cloth and drenched with aromatic spices rests there. Seemingly powerless, it now serves as a testimony of the unrelenting power of death’s rule. But just as the stench of death began to chase away the lovely fragrance of loving friends and when all hope seemed to be gone, deaths music was interrupted by the rustling of folded fabrics and a shifting stone. Here, in this tiny corner of the world, in this poor excuse for a kings resting place, in this moment of implausibility, Death was faced with a non-complier. He had seen such rebels before but was always quick to reschedule a follow up visit. But here, with this one, no such follow-up would be had. Here stood one who retained the fingerprint of death but somehow death had lost its sting…somehow though his mark remained, his power was mysteriously absent. Could it be…could it truly be that here in this seemingly inconsequential hollow of the earth that the world would finally witness the death of death? It was on that dreaded day, that day forever etched in the mind of Death that his own record of demise was signed by the pierced hand of one greater than himself. Though still working his trade and flouting himself as the great untouchable, death has been touched, he has been dealt a blow of victory and praise God, his abolishment is a matter of when not if!
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