I was in England last summer and wanted to go walking in the countryside. I asked a local friend where to go and he gave me a map and this encouraging word, “The nice thing about England is that we have no predators–they’ve all been killed off. Nothing here can hurt you.” He walked away and laughed.
I was still processing his last sentence.
NOTHING HERE CAN HURT YOU.
What if that were true. What if nothing here could hurt us? And then I knew. It was true. Every enemy has been defeated. Every predator of the soul. Every poisonous thing. The power of all those things and the fear they hold over us has been destroyed by the death and resurrection of Jesus!
Yeah, but we can still be hurt, sickened, stolen from, abused, even killed.
Let me explain.
The reason nothing can hurt us is that we are ALREADY DEAD.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
I used to take this metaphorically until I met a missionary in Nicaragua who gave this advice to a young man who just learned his father who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. After learning that this man was a follower of Christ he said, “You only die once.”
When we surrender our lives truly to God, we will be subject to the same kinds of diseases, forces of nature, financial issues, and persecutions that Christ was. But we have already died. It’s hard to hurt a dead person.
I went to that man’s hospital room a month before he went to be with Jesus. While a group of my best friends were worshiping together with him, he prayed and said, “I have already died with Christ. Now, to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
How would you live if nothing here could hurt you?