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There is something about a living testimony that gives us courage. Once we see someone else emerging from life’s dark tunnels we realize that we, too, can overcome.

Could this be why Jesus is called our pioneer? Is this one of the reasons that he consented to enter the horrid chambers of death? It must be. His words, though persuasive, were not enough. His promises, though true, didn’t quite allay the fear of the people. His actions, even the act of calling Lazarus from the tomb, didn’t convince the crowds that death was nothing to fear. No. In the eyes of humanity, death was still the black veil that separated them from joy. There was no victory over this hooded foe. Its putrid odor invaded the nostrils of every human, convincing them that life was only meant to end abruptly and senselessly.

It was left to the Son of God to disclose the true nature of this force. It was on the cross that the showdown occurred. Christ called for Satan’s cards. Weary of seeing humanity fooled by a cover-up, he entered the tunnel death to prove that there was indeed an exit. And, as the world darkened, creation held her breath.

Satan threw his best punch, but it wasn’t enough. Even the darkness of hell’s tunnel was no match for God’s Son.
Even the chambers of Hades couldn’t stop this raider. Legions of screaming demons held nothing over the Lion
of Judah.

Christ emerged from death’s tunnel, lifted a triumphant fist toward the sky, and freed all from the fear of death. ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory!’

Source: Max Lucado in “On the Anvil” (1985 Tyndale House)

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