Our 23 year old son came home the other day with a paper bag. From it he pulled out two Western Bacon Cheeseburgers plus zucchini fries. He reminded me of high school, when I first learned that you could buy two hamburgers all for yourself.
It happened when I was at McDonald’s with some friends. One of them, Mark, ordered two Big Macs plus a large fries. I looked at his tray and thought “What’s he doing with two burgers?” It’s not that I wasn’t hungry enough to eat two Big Macs; I’d just never imagined buying two at once.
Mark opened up a whole new world for me, a world where 2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun doubled into a feast of burgery goodness.
I mentioned this revelatory moment of my teen years as our son chowed on the burgers. My wife said that she’s never been able to eat a single Big Mac, let alone two. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy tasty food; we’ve tackled many a meal together. But she’s not big and comparing her capacity for food with mine or our son’s is not a fair comparison at all.
The Bible talks about appetite, sometimes literally and sometimes as metaphor. One of the biggest belongs to Satan, who wants to swallow us up in death:
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8.)
Death expands its jaws,
opening wide its mouth. (Isaiah 5:14.)
Death’s appetite appears insatiable, but it’s not unstoppable. In Christ, it is life that swallows death and not the other way around.
Paul rightly asks Death why it can no longer pierce us and pin us to the grave:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55.)
In Hebrews we’re told:
… by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15.)
It took the death of Christ to conquer death’s hold over us all, so that Satan cannot ridicule and threaten us with our mortality.
John later gives us a picture of Christ’s victory over Satan and sin and death, showing that God’s victory is complete and irrevocable.
And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
… Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Revelation 20:10, 14.)
The one Person whose appetite is truly insatiable is God, who invites us to join him in his victory over death.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39.)
I am glad for God’s appetite for his people, a divine desire that brings us to himself not to be devoured but to join him at the table of the eternal feast in his presence.
People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. (Luke 13:29.)