Long ago, Solomon said, “The living know they shall die” and with that sad end, they ceased their activity under the sun. In time, “their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal is perished” (Eccl. 9:5,6).
This sad thought is a substantial part of what makes life so vain. “‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.’” We might wish it otherwise or even rage against it, but we cannot change it. For since the fateful day of disobedience in the garden, mankind has been dying, “for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). And “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). It would seem then, that Satan and death have us all in a helpless trap—a life of sin that always ends in death.
We are so thankful then, for the intervention of Christ. Jesus, as God and man, “Immanuel, God with us” (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23), in “flesh and blood,” in living and dying, that “through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Heb. 2:15). So now we know death is no longer final. The One on our side, the One in whom we have our hope and trust, has defeated death and conquered all things for us.