The Fear of Death

Daily Reform, Day 162

Galatians 2:20 & Hebrews 9:24-28

From the Reformer

We must pay close attention to Paul’s way of speaking. He says that we are crucified and dead unto the Law. The fact is, the Law is crucified and dead unto us. Paul purposely speaks that way in order to increase the portion of our comfort.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

It is ordained that each person will die. After death comes judgment. No one escapes their appointment with death and judgment. This is a great fear for religious people. They fear that their bad deeds will outweigh their good deeds and as a result, that their judgment will go poorly. These fearful souls live unto the Law. But we care not for such legalities and the balancing of the scales. Indeed! We know that we cannot balance the scales, no matter the quantity of our deeds. We know that our Lord Christ has balanced the scales of judgment on our behalf. We have died with Christ in his death on the cross and our sin has died with us. Even as he was raised, we too will be resurrected in righteousness because of his deed on our behalf. It is no longer about deeds and scales but about Christ and his faithfulness and justice to forgive. (1 John 1:9-10) So when death and judgment come for us, we will have an advocate before the Judge of Heaven. We have nothing to fear.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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