Herod was Dead

“Now when Herod was dead…” Matthew 2:19

King Herod died. Thus the angel communicated the news to Mary and Joseph, saying it was safe to return to Israel, for “those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” In one sense, this is an odd report, is it not? Could not the Lord have preserved Christ’s life while Herod was still alive? Was Herod so great, so powerful, so influential that Christ was truly unsafe while he lived? Not at all. No king on earth could have killed Christ before His appointed time. Herod, however powerful he appeared to men, was but a weak and impotent creature before God. Herod could have raised an army of ten thousand, but they could not have touched so much as a hair upon the head of Jesus without Divine permission. Never forget that even “the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Cor 1:25).”

So why this focus upon Herod’s death? What did it matter. Here, I believe, is a matter of sober warning that every reader should bear in mind. All those who take a stand against Christ shall one day have to die and give account for themselves to God. Herod learned of Christ, and rejected Him. And now? Now “Herod was dead.” He who hated Jesus went to his grave unforgiven, unrepentant, and unchanged. Herod wanted Christ dead. But now Herod was dead. What a sad irony befalls all those who hate Jesus. For the love of this brief and fleeting life they reject the Lord and in turn inherit eternal death.

Herod was dead. And should Christ tarry it shall one day be said of you and me. We will die. And all eternity will then go on unchanged. What you thought of Christ in life will be how you spend the infinite years of the afterlife. Would you not have Him now? You will not have Him then. If you die opposed to Christ in this life, you will never close with Him in the next. “In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie (Ecc 11:3).” It is too late for Herod my friend. “Those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” His time is passed. His day of salvation is gone. But it is not too late for you.

The Lord awaited the death of Herod not for His sake…but for yours and mine. Herod’s death was a warning. Herod’s death is a reminder. No one who takes a stand against Christ ever wins in the end. Therefore, stop trying to kill Him in your hearts. Make peace with Him while you live. “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish [like Herod!] in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him (Psalm 2:12).”

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