Facing Death

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. – Isaiah 12:2

There is a saying in our English language which is falling out of use: whistling past the graveyard. There are two theories about its meaning. The first is that it is used to describe people who don’t know that they are in a terrible situation. The second is that it is used to describe people who know they are in a terrible situation yet remain confident even in the face of overwhelming odds.

If we take the second meaning, that saying can describe Christians. The Bible tells us why. It says, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2). We human beings face a terrible situation and overwhelming odds. Sin infests our hearts like a disease, showing itself in hateful thoughts, hurtful words and hostile actions toward others. The result is that we are headed for the graveyard, facing the death of our bodies and souls forever as our just punishment. And there is nothing we can do about it. There is nothing we can do to make up for our sins or set our wrongs right.

We need saving, and that saving comes not from us, but from God. He has become our salvation. He sent his Son, Jesus, to endure the punishment for all our sins by giving his life on the cross. But that’s not all. Jesus not only fought our fight against sin and won, he also rose again, conquering death. So in Jesus, we have victory over sin and the grave. His work on our behalf gives us unshakable confidence in the face of overwhelming odds.

We can sing past the graveyard because in Jesus and his sin-conquering strength we have forgiveness. We can sing past the graveyard because the grave is not our end. Instead, Jesus makes heaven our eternal home. So no matter the terrible situation, no matter the overwhelming odds, Jesus and his salvation gives us strength for singing.