“and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to life-long bondage” (Hebrews 2:15).

Fear of death …

Those three words can easily transport one’s thoughts to the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. In it, Paul turns that statement 180 degrees around, wanting us to understand that there is no person who is able to experience life and rejoice in life more fully and more deeply than the Christian who is not afraid to die.

Paul wrote his Letter to the Philippians while in prison. Already he had encountered many close brushes with death: he was severely beaten, he was flogged, he was stoned, he was shipwrecked. And now he is facing possible execution at an early date. And in the midst of this imminent danger, he is able to say, in effect, “If it is possible for me to go on living now in this world, that’s great.  I would like to go on living. But if I’m about to die and move into the next life, that’s great too. And if I have to choose between…

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