Life. It comes in all shapes and sizes, colors and characters, and makes up the world in which we live. And when it is gone, we recognize our waste, ache because of our apathy and yearn to return and do it again, better somehow.
Life ended all over the world today, yet more specifically in my world, seven people this week breathed their last, a grim wake up call that life and death walk hand in hand.
Two men who loved and served their God and families left this earth. An uncle, whose funeral had more words about partying, than about God, left the world and his family behind. Two young men, ready to play football in college had their dreams destroyed in a car crash. Evan, just adopted from an orphanage in Georgia, died in an Israeli hospital of health complications, with his new American mommy and daddy trusting in the Sovereignty of God and clinging to His love. And perhaps the death that staggered my world the most was that of Norma Lopez, a seventeen year old girl, who was abducted and murdered only miles from my home, my church and my world.
Life and death walk hand in hand, but when life is taken in a vicious, evil manner, the breaking of my heart is almost audible. All I can think is how broken the heart of God must be as He gazes on this world, past, present and future, and sees the wickedness of mankind. Yet God stays His hand, as Lamentations states, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.”
Praise the Lord that He stays His hand and does not consume us, for though most are not murderous and evil according in the world’s standards, all of us are wicked in God’s eyes in light of His perfect holiness. None have lived perfect lives and therefore we are damned without Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.
Jesus, God’s perfect Son was nailed by evil to the cross because He loved the world and desired all to be rescued from the evil fallen state in which we live. He aches because of the evil and He promises that justice will prevail and yet He waits for all to have a chance to hear and believe that He has come to save each person from sin and death and offer an eternal home in heaven with Him.
Death is no respecter of persons, it takes at any age and when it so pleases. It either leads to eternal life in heaven with God or eternal damnation in hell. The choice lies solely on the individual and what he or she does when confronted with the truth of Jesus.
The hope and beauty of eternity is found only in Jesus Christ and it is only in His own dance with death and his resurrection that gives every human the opportunity to turn from this evil infested world and turn to the kingdom of God which we were created for; a kingdom with no end.
Death is either a doorway into glorious life forever in perfection, or it is the passage that leads to the hellish punishment man deserves for rejecting Christ. God is good and just, He loves profoundly and this love caused Him to bleed and die. Yet He won’t let those who disregard His perfect standard and His free gift to soil His perfect kingdom. He holds the key and is still holding the door open to any who desire to come to Him, but one day it will be too late. One day, the door will be shut and there will be no chance to return and try again. It is appointed once for man to die; be it by heart attack, murder, car crash, health issues or old age…we all die, and then the judgement. We are judged for our acceptance of Jesus Christ or our rejection.
Life for the Christian begins at death, for eternity is where reality truly is found. Eternal death begins when pride and sin keep one from accepting the reality that only through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection can a man be saved.
You and I are going to die. What is waiting for you on the other side? Do you know the Giver of Life who holds the keys to eternity? Or are you banking that on the fairy tale that all roads lead to heaven?