What a horrible word. There is so much wrapped up in that word. Fear, worry, surgery, hospitals, chemo, hair loss, nausea, pain, sorrow, even death. To find a cure for cancer would be bigger than just helping the body destroy malignant tumors. It would be a cure for all that is associated with cancer, all that results from cancer. A cure for cancer would cure the fear of cancer, the pain of cancer, and the sorrow of cancer.
Another horrible word. But, as with cancer, death is so much more than the cessation of physical life. It is a curse. It is representative of decay, disease, famine, war, pollution, grief, and everything else that is disgustingly wrong with our world. For God to say that He will destroy Death (1Corinthians 15:22-26) is to say more than that there will be no more cessation of life.
We spend a lot of time trying to convince ourselves that life (and Death) isn’t so bad. We have motivational speakers, how-to books, and lots and lots of therapists. And though that grey-haired geezer will tell every kid he can that “life is not fair,” and that they should not expect it to be, we still all persist in believing, at least on some level, that life should be fair. We want to believe that it can be fair, that we can live a peaceful, stress-free existence in early retirement.
The message of the Gospel is that life was intended to be fair and can be made fair again. God made a good, even very good, creation. He put Adam in a tropical garden paradise!
Then Adam and Eve sinned. They started getting wrinkly and fat. Their son killed his own brother. People got sick, and malnourished, and cold, and they died. They got angry, arrogant, and old, and they turned on one another. Slavery. Holocaust. Khmer Rouge. Lies. Envy. Lust.
All of this, and more, is wrapped up in the concept of Death.
But, if we had a cure for Death then we would have a cure for cancer, murder, and a million other plagues that make life unholy, unfair and, often, unlivable. When God kills Death He will fix the world. And that, in a nutshell, is the Good News, the Gospel.