I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily (I Corinthians 15, NASV).
“You can’t kill a dead man.” My friend and worship leader Steve Dodd used to tell me that all the time and each time he said it he had this wide grin across his face, like the cat that caught the mouse. Steve “had something” and he knew it. He had committed himself to “die daily”.
Let’s look at the cross—the crucifixion of Jesus. Who came against Jesus?
1. Religious leaders—people who taught God, believed in God, and led people to God
2. People who listened to religious leaders—incited by their heroes to yell, “Crucify Him!”
3. A disciple—Judas who helped Jesus preach the Gospel from town to town and helped collect 12 leftover baskets of miracle food
Did Pilate want to kill Jesus? No.
Did Herod want to kill Jesus? No.
Let’s look at the cross—the crucifixion of Jesus. Who defended Him?
1 Peter cut off the ear of the slave of the high priest at first, but later denied Him.
Mary and her sister and two other women named Mary stood near the cross with John, the disciple Jesus loved. Standing near Him took a great gathering of courage. But for whatever reason, they did not resist his accusers or his crucifixion. Many women and followers watched Him die from a distance.
Did anyone speak up for Jesus as he hung there dying? Did any of his friends or followers from the previous three years vocalize the indignity at which he was dying or voice that His human rights were being violated? Did anyone point to Him as the Savior and Messiah and rebuke his accusers?
YES. ONE MAN. Let’s read the account from the Gospel of Luke chapter 23:
35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the [k]Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [l]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the [m]Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [n]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come [o]in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
The only one who had courage to defend Jesus at his death was the man who was dying. He knew he was as good as dead, and that realization put everything into perspective for him.
You can’t kill a dead man. Think about it. A dead man has no fear of pain or hurt—he’s dead. You can’t hurt a dead man. He can’t even hear threats or accusations. He’s dead.
Let me share with you a story that was told by Evangelist James Robison. There was a young Christian girl who was a cashier at a small convenience store in Texas. A man came in to rob the store and held the gun to her face and demanded cash. The girl looked at her accuser in the face and said, “Sudden death, sudden glory.”
WOW! Now there’s a Christian who knew that a gun wasn’t going to change her position. That young Christian girl understood that she had already died in Christ and her life was hidden in God and that revolver wasn’t going to change a thing. I want to live fearless like that!
Jesus plainly told us that another time of darkness is coming. The whole world will be in an upheaval as our climate changes, wars increase, and Christians find themselves “in the lion’s den” of persecution. The best way to prepare for the upcoming days is to die now, not later.
You can’t kill a dead man. Think about it.