Paul’s image of a king with his foot on his enemy’s neck was a common one. After a war the king of the nation which was conquered would be paraded to the throne of the victorious king. Being made to bow down, the victor would step on the subdued king’s neck, symbolizing complete control over the king’s life or death (and his country too).
A man once told me that everybody over the age of 35 thinks about death at least once a day. He knew what he was talking about. Death is an insidious part of our existence; we think about it, wonder what it will be like, and ruminate over how we can put it off.
We’re all like Woody Allen’s comment, when he was asked what he’d like to be remembered for; He said: I’d like to be remembered as the guy who didn’t die.
Well, Woody…you’re too late! That job has already been filled. When the dead carpenter from Galilee got out of the tomb he fulfilled the promise that He is the resurrection and life that will be eternal life springing-up in those who trust in him.
There’s one promise upon which all Christians everywhere agree; God was moving in all of history past, and is moving in “history future” to bring His enemies under submission. And that last enemy to be subdued and destroyed is death.
This is the way Isaiah pictured the Christ dealing with his enemy, death:
He will swallow up death forever!
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
The LORD has spoken! Isaiah 25:8 (NLT)
This is also the fate of death in the Book of Revelation:
As 17th century Christian pastor and poet John Donne said,
Death, thou shalt die!
We can’t ignore death altogether, but we rejoice in its temporary condition!