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“I Have A Future”

Because I live, you also will live-John 14:19b

             I remember the day, when in a class on Contemporary Issues in Religion, Dr. George Forell was discussing our present world and the way it is viewed by us.  He pointed out that we are so confident that we have changed the world and that things which once worried human kind are worries no longer.

            For instance, in 1600, we had things like the bubonic plague and other terrible diseases.  It was so bad that 100% of the people died.  By 1900, we had pretty much eliminated the plague and some of those other diseases, but we had smallpox and TB and other diseases—100% died.  But, for the most part, we have eliminated those terrible killers.  Now we have cancer and heart disease, aids—“sorry about that kid, 100% of the people still die.”

            In his own humorous way he was saying that some things don’t change—human beings have been dying since  Adam and Eve’s sin and they continue to die, no matter how many diseases we think we have conquered.

            Given this fact, it is ironic/tragic that we do everything possible to forget or avoid that.  The first article in the creed of a noted American journalist was, “Never to allow myself to think of death.”  To a great extent, that has become the creed of our age—death is something you don’t talk about.  We avoid it by using terms like “passed away”, “rest,” “slumber,” “left us,” etc.  Or we trivialize it, making it so cheap in movies and other media.

            However, we cannot escape that a fundamental question of life is how does death fit in?  It gnaws at us from the first realization that one day I will die.

            We see it expressed in art, literature,  in songs—such as “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”  That song is a haunting expression of the inevitability of death, life as an endless cycle.    It echoes in the repeated question “How will we ever learn?”  One preacher says, “What an abyss yawns in that question!”  How CAN we ever learn when life is broken off abruptly over and over again?

            The Bible asks the question in a much more direct manner–“If a man die shall he live again?” The ancient pagan says, “no.”  An inscription on a tomb reads, “I was not—I was born.  I was—now I am not.  If any man says other wise, he lies.  I shall not be.”  The more skeptical modern, trying to be honest says, “I don’t know.”  The romantic says, ” I hope.”

            It is in the face of all of this, the Church of Jesus Christ affirms—”I have a future…I believe in…life everlasting.

            WHY? One has broken the cycle!  “Death no longer has the last word”(Leslie Newbigin).  Jesus lives and was dead, behold, He is alive for evermore.  “Because I live,” He says, “you also will live.”

            Easter means I have a future—despite the fact that evil and death appear to win out—THEY DO NOT!  Jesus will not disappoint you!  My life will continue; in a much richer, fuller, more complete way.  But because He lives, I can live also.

            In John Masefield’s THE TRIAL OF JESUS there is a fictional conversation between Procula, wife of Pontius Pilate and Longinus, Centurion who commanded the soldiers at the crucifixion:

“Do you think he is dead?” she asks.
“No, lady, I don’t.”
“Then where is he?”
“Let loose in the world, lady, where neither Roman nor Jew can stop his truth.”

If you would like to know the living Jesus, click here to find out how.

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