A few years ago, there was a movie released on the martyrdom of Jim Elliot and his friends. One of the most interesting parts of the film was what it revealed about the Waodoni perception of life after death. After death, the Waodoni believed, they would face a great boa snake. If they were able to jump over the great boa, they could continue on to “heaven.” But anyone who failed to clear the boa was doomed to return to earth as a termite. In one gripping scene, a Waodoni warrior weeps at the death of his little son. His grief is compounded because the boy “was too small to jump the great boa.” The Waodoni lived in the fear of death.
This has been the condition of mankind down through history. People are separated from God, and their only hope has been to clear an impossible obstacle. I think it’s telling that the Waodoni believed they would face a serpent after death since death came into the world by a serpent (Genesis 3). But the Waodonis’ only hope was to become physically strong so that they could physically jump over the snake. They never knew if anyone had succeeded, but they believed that many, even most, had failed. They had little hope.
The Bible’s story couldn’t be more different! Scripture says you don’t have to jump the great boa. In fact, at the very moment that the serpent led Adam into death, God promised to send Someone to crush that serpent (Genesis 3:15). God’s own Son came and died. He jumped the great boa so you wouldn’t have to. When He died a vicarious death, He rendered that old serpent powerless (Hebrews 2:15). By crushing the serpent, He conquered death and opened the way to heaven. He did for us what was impossible for us to do for ourselves (Mark 10:27).
At Easter we celebrate the resurrection of God’s Son from the tomb—His victory over death. Because He has crushed the serpent, you’ll never have to try to jump the great boa. You don’t have to become a termite forever. Praise the Lord that you don’t have to live in the fear of death!