There is no way to understand how the world was so changed by the Christian message if it was just a philosophy. It was a proclamation that something happened.
That’s the reason why Paul is able to actually taunt at death. Why? Because he says in the beginning of Romans 1:4, ‘God declared him to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection.’ Paul didn’t understand he was the Son of God till he saw him raised, and he began to realize what Jesus has done. There is hope why? Because this is the Son of God. Death could not hold him down.
It says in Acts 2, when the first sermon was preached by Peter, ‘He rose from the dead because death could not hold him.’ It was impossible for death to hold him. Think about the power of death for a minute. Think about it. Nothing can stop death. No human being can stop death. The power of decay. The second law of thermodynamics. Even mountains can’t stop death. The mountains eventually get worn down to pebbles. Even the sun and the stars can’t stop death. Even they burn out and go to decay. Think of the power of death.
Yet someone came who overmatched death. Jesus Christ was swallowed by death and exploded in its bowels. Jesus Christ did not just defy death. He did not just deny death. He destroyed death. That’s the reason why Paul can say later on in this chapter, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ At the top of the service we said only Christians have this unbelievable ability to handle worry and handle anxiety. Why? Because they can look at the most powerful obstacle to happiness in the universe, death itself, and actually taunt it.
- Tim Keller