Sunday, October 27, 2013

Death and Taxes

Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

-- Matthew 28:7 

Few people like to talk about it, but it's something we'll all have to face one day. It's not a trip to the dentist's office, an audit by the IRS or even a ballet recital. It's something much more inevitable: DEATH.

Why do so many people worry about Taxesdeath? For those who aren't Christ-followers, death represents the unknown. It's a gaping, black hole. And who knows what's at the bottom of that pit or who's on the other side? And besides, death is just so... final.

It comes down to this: What we don't know or understand frightens us. And it frightens us a lot.

That doesn't sound very reassuring. So here's some good news (but it's only true for Christ-followers). If you've accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have absolutely nothing to fear from death! In fact, death is simply the transition between our relatively brief existence on Earth and an eternity of joy with Jesus. From the Book of Revelation--the final book of the Bible--we read that all troubles, tears and sorrows will be a thing of the past. That sounds like something to anticipate rather than fear.

How is this possible? In short, it's explained through the Easter story. After Jesus willingly accepted the death penalty on a cross to pay for all of our sins, He proved that He was indeed God's Son by fulfilling Old Testament prophesies and rising again to life. The huge boulder that had days earlier sealed His grave was rolled away. His tomb was revealed to be empty and hollow. And so also was the Devil's greatest weapon against us: the threat of death.

It's an image that reveals an obvious truth. One day, death will take you. But there's some very good news with this sobering thought. If you've surrendered your life to Jesus, death can't keep you. It's already been defeated through Jesus' triumphant resurrection.

With holiday merchandise already on display at many stores, chances are that you're thinking more about Thanksgiving and Christmas than you are about Easter. But when Easter arrives this spring, remember that it means much more than chocolate bunnies and colorful, hard-boiled eggs. It's really a celebration about overcoming the inevitable and defeating the unbeatable.

The Apostle Paul sums up this reassuring news through Romans 6:5:

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

It's just one more thing that's guaranteed for Christ-followers. You can count on it.

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