Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Death, Where is Your Sting?

Well, I'm fifty years old, and soon I will be fifty-one. Some of you who read this may be sixty, seventy, eighty years old, or maybe only thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen years old. Regardless, we only live for a very short time on this earth, don't we?
Grade school for eight years, high school for four, college for four, career for 30-35, and then what? We retire, struggle with an aging and failing body,enjoy our grandchildren, maybe even great grandchildren for a time, and then?
Then we leave this earth behind, we leave our loved ones behind, and all that was precious to us. We leave them, and they grieve for a time over our loss.
That's reality folks. That is what every single human being faces.
I thought about this twenty-four plus years ago, and no matter what I did, this thought did not leave me. More questions arose.
What does it all mean anyway? Does love matter if it ends? Who cares whether a life was lived decent or indecent, if indeed it all ends anyway? How could I, or anyone else live life in peace and happiness, if all we have left is death, and departing from those whom we love, and that which we love? Meaningless, meaningless, all seemed and felt meaningless. Who could give me answers? Forget about counselors, social workers, and psychologists. This is one problem they cannot help fix. They die too, and they have no answer for us because they do not believe that there is an answer. "That's just life" doesn't cut it. "It's the same for everyone" doesn't help. I needed a better answer. Death just didn't fit well with what life was all about. Investing into our relationships would be a waste if in the end death ruled.
If death were just a natural part of life, if death were as much a part of our original nature as breathing is, then we would never question it. We would never fear it, nor have any distaste for it. But all men consider death. Some run from it, drink it away, avoid funerals and memorials because it reminds them of their own mortality. But death follows them all of their lives.
Who could give me answers?

Then I met Jesus Christ! Not religions, but Jesus Christ!
Yes! God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ,and lived here, on this earth among men. He performed miracles! He loved, He lived, and He faced death, like us. He died as all men do. But it did not end there. Jesus Christ is not on the cross anymore!
The apostle Paul wrote concerning Jesus death "If Christ has not been raised, then our faith is in vain". Then he wrote "but Christ has indeed been raised from the dead." The writer of Hebrews likewise speaks of Jesus Christ who came to conquer death so that "he might free all those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death(Hebrews 2:15).
Oh, how rich the Scriptures are. How precious are the treasures of divine truth that all men must hear and treasure for themselves. If I wrote a thousand pages today of how God has blessed me through knowing Christ, it would hardly even be a beginning.
But know this, that Christ came to die for sinful man, to rise from the dead and offer hope FOR ALL THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM. Look to Jesus this year. Learn about Him, study Him, cry out to Him. He is truly your only hope. Why? Because He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
"Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?"
"Those who look to Him will never be put to shame." "Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". Have you been born again? Jesus said that, not me.

Do you know Jesus Christ? I didn't ask if you know about Him, but do you know Him?

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