The Fear of Death

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.

— Ephesians 2:12

Millions of people have studied Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven,” and yet I doubt that one-half of one percent of them have the faintest idea what it means.

“The Raven” is the personification of the unbelief that plagued Poe’s life. He was terrified by the grisly specter of death. In this poem he is seeking to find some surcease of sorrow for his lost Lenore. As he lost his wife in real life, so in this poem he loses Lenore, a beautiful, radiant maiden who has been snatched from his arms.

He can find no relief for the suffering and the heartache that grips him. He wants what everyone wants: some ease to the pain of this life. He wants to know that there is a balm in Gilead—a biblical phrase for Jesus Christ. In other words, Poe is asking, “Will I see Lenore again?” And unbelief answers, “Nevermore.”

How different is Christ’s answer to this question. On that glorious Easter morn He rose again from the dead and stepped forth into the light saying, “I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore.” (Revelation 1:18).

Unbelief says: “Nevermore.” Faith says: “Forevermore.” He conquered our fears and fulfills our hopes now and forevermore.

Question to ponder:
Do you know people who live in fear of death, without hope and ruled by unbelief?