May 06, 2021

Death's Doom

Revelation 6:7-8

There before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.

—  Revelation 6:8

The fourth horseman is too ­familiar to us. This picture represents death and grief disrupting our lives. Perhaps you are feeling death’s dreadful presence today. May you be comforted in God’s love and care.

At the time of this writing, the global death count from COVID-19 is over 2 million. The fourth horseman has created another pandemic. Death is always a terrible intruder, regardless of its coming to claim people in large numbers or in the sudden death of a person we love.

The Holy Spirit has given us powerful pictures to embrace for a time such as this. We have the good news of Christ’s coming and of his rising on Easter Sunday morning, announcing death’s defeat. We also have comforting pictures of Jesus grieving with those who mourn. Jesus wept with Mary and Martha over their brother Lazarus’s death (John 11:33-35). Jesus weeps with us too when this rider on the pale horse comes.

Jesus also knows this horseman as his “last enemy to be destroyed” (1 Corinthians 15:26). And God’s great story closes with John announcing, “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’” in which God will “wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:1-4). Hallelujah!

Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for your victory over death for our sake. Comfort us in your promise to put an end to death and to all our grieving. Amen.

About the author — Jim Poelman

Pastor Jim Poelman and his wife, Linda, served five churches in Ontario and British Columbia for thirty-nine years. They enjoy family gatherings with their extended household of children and grandchildren—29 members in all—often creating lots of happy noise.

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