Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Hope beyond death?

If you are reading this, you are terminally ill. You may be reminded of a certain gruesome film “The Ring” where a message on a video gave its viewers seven days to live. While the message you have just read does not contain this same power, it is nonetheless true. From the moment of our conception, our time on earth is counting down. Morbid? Yes. Unimportant? No.

For such a universally important topic, death is not something our culture contemplates deeply. Sure, there are reports of death in the papers; there are accounts of murders and tragedies. Films and books are riddled with death. But somehow these deaths seem unreal; for the most part wholly ‘other’ from us. We cannot really imagine a world where we are no longer present. Our whole understanding of the world assumes our own being. In the rare incidents where we do contemplate our own mortality, we are distressed at something that seems so unnatural.

Why do our hearts rebel so much against death? Why do we grieve when a loved one dies? Why do we dread our own mortality? I put it to you that we rebel against death because it is unnatural for us. We are not designed to die. While some may say death is part of the circle of life, our hearts tell us this is not so. Death is an unwelcome intruder – a thief which humiliates us and robs us of our dignity.

Unlike those who hold to an atheistic evolutionary framework where death is an essential part of the world, I believe death is an intruder. As sons and daughters of God, we were created for life abundant. And yet in that garden of perfection our first father rebelled against God and brought death into the world. Since that fateful day, our race has been doomed to death. Our original glory and dignity as image bearers of God has been marred and defaced by our rebellion, and we all must face steady decay until death finally humiliates us.

Yet today is a special day. Today we celebrate the man Jesus who conquered death. Nailed to a cross and left to die, Jesus was the only human being who was not infected with the disease of sin. Jesus did not need to die. Yet he submitted himself to death in the stead of those he loved and desired to save. Death could not own him – for in him was no sin – no trace of rebellion against God his Father. So triumphant he rose from the grave and appeared to many of his disciples - eyewitnesses so committed to the truth of the resurrected Jesus that many would give their lives up rather than deny it in the years that followed.

Why does history so vividly remember this man who conquered death? What is so important about Jesus? Sure there is the amazing fact that he managed to escape death, but the rest of us are yet helpless and will all stare death in the face at some point or other. We remember and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, because he is the first fruits of the dead. The first fruits in a harvest signify a promise of more to come. In the same way, Jesus victory over death is a promise to his people that they too have victory over death.

Though we must still taste death, the sting of death can be taken away. Jesus now holds the keys to death, and we do not pass through the door unless Jesus has opened it for us. Moreover, for those who have been joined to Jesus Christ through believing in his power to save them from their own rebellion against God, Jesus promises that at the end of the world as we know it, they too will be raised to life – with perfected bodies ready to live life abundant in a restored world where death and suffering are banished forever. What hope Easter Sunday brings to us all as we contemplate our own mortality.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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2 Comments:

  • I've read your post and I am thrilled to see what you have written as I too believe totally in what you have written. As you know from our past in getting to know one another, I too am a true follower of Christ, my Brother and God, my Father.

    I do not celebrate the pagan traditionalized holidays however, I do agree it is a great time to make people who are unaware of it, understand Christs reasons for his submission to death, be our acceptance into God's Holy kingdom. Those days which were created to trick the Christians, are days where we can be informative with truth.

    You are correct, most people I don't imagine, contemplate how the world will be affected by their non-existance in it. Some of us do however, think about that often. Having my mother die, reminds me daily what the world is now like without her in it. I am only one person affected by her death. There are many others who seemed so insignificant, but I now see werre so affected by one persons life.

    It is true that from the first day of our life, we were bound to die from this body. This body was created by Both Jesus and God, to be perfect and live forever. We humans, keep making the mistakes which cause our own imortality, starting with Adam and Eve. If we pay attention closely to what Revelations states about the end of the world (Which I personally feel is very close, within the next 100 years, but I could be wrong as no one knows the day or hour but God himself, even Jesus doesn't know) The Bible clearly states that if Jesus does not return when he does, we humans would anniliate ourselves. Have you seen that every "cure" we seem to come up with, has an adverse reaction? Plastic creation creates offcuts and trash which is ruining male sperm count! Our animals keep getting lost so we now have a chip we can implant into them to find them (This is also a great way to find humans we love too) I wonder what other uses there will be for this technology? Someone gets cancer and we give them Chemo which kills them in less than three weeks. Would they have lived longer without our human fix?

    Science and evolution are not the answers, they are human created ways to try to explain the unexplainable and they only go so far. God is the truth, the way and the light.

    A God, came into this world as a human being. He walked this world in worse conditions than we have today. He spoke about his Father and told us his Fathers expectations of us. He left tons of material for us to learn from with his 12 desciples who continued to preach his word after he left this world. This God, turned human for our sake, took on every sin we could imgine doing and ones some of us can't imagine being a part of, and he laid his life and his blood on the line to save us. Not once did he faulter, or let us or God down. He allowed us humans to injured, belittle and mistreat him all the way to his death. The amount of people left standing there believing in him, very few in comparison to the worlds population. He breathed his last breath and with it he took all of our sins away if we asked him to.

    I've met a lot of people in this lifetime of mine who I have admired, cherished and even looked up to, but none of them have ever offered me what Jesus has offered me. Life beyond this.........

    No human could offer you that! Christ himself, offers that!

    So though I don't celebrate this time of year because of where it stems from in history, May God and Jesus bless you all who read our thoughts at this time!

    Don't forget to pray for your enemies!

    Rev. Constance Brady

    By OpenID conneryf, at 2:18 AM, April 05, 2010  

  • Why is everybody so scared of death? What would life be worth if there was no death. Just get over it.

    By Blogger luggage79, at 2:21 AM, April 05, 2010  

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