No Deals with Death

Steven Laman

Read: Isaiah 28:14-29

Then your covenant with death will be annulled. (v. 18)

It’s no secret that North American culture is obsessed with avoiding death. Our entertainment, advertising, medicine, and politics are all carefully designed around the lie that we can live forever. In the midst of a death-denying culture, the prophet Isaiah calls us to take a more difficult road, the baptismal road of death and resurrection. The religious and political elites of Jerusalem thought that they could cheat death, that somehow death would overlook them and pass them by. But Isaiah warned them against it.

Against a culture that tries to cut a deal with death, we follow Jesus, carrying our cross. We tend to make two different kinds of deals with death. The first is to live recklessly and thoughtlessly, as if nothing could kill us. This way of living can wreak havoc on us and those around us. The second way that we try to make a deal with death is by pretending that death is an everyday, normal part of life, something to be serenely accepted. But this too is a lie. As Christians, we don’t quietly accept death as just a part of life. It is the last enemy, conquered by Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection (see 1 Cor. 15:20-28).

Don’t make any deals with death! You will get swindled every time. In place of a deal or a bargain, God offers you his free covenant of grace, a covenant that is stronger than death. —Steven Rodriguez

Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that I belong to you, in death and in life.