May 22

Text: Matthew 16:25, 26

"For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.  For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (NASB)

Dying is a hypothetical consideration until we undeniably begin approaching our personal death.  We often buy some form of life insurance just in case, but most of us never plan on using it—just in case will never happen  “to me.”  We may go to a hospital to visit someone visibly dying.  As thought provoking as that visit might be, we say to ourselves, “That could happen to me—but it will not.”  We may attend a very sobering funeral, but most of us will soon put the experience “out of mind.”  All of us know everyone we have known has died, and we confess everyone we know will die.  However, many of us look at ourselves as being the exception.  Then we must admit, “We are not!”  Living requires effort!

Jesus was not being morbid when he demanded that the 12 consider death.  Resurrection cannot occur unless physical existence as we know it ceases.  The eternal will not happen until the physical ceases.  The core blessing Jesus gives us is not found in any form of physical existence.  To experience an existence that does not involve death we must leave the existence that does involve death. 

The irony: Our physical existence does involve death.  Even if we reject the eternal and love the physical, every one of us will still die.  Jesus’ viewpoint: to invest in physical life is a waste of life.

No matter what we do, we will get old.  Our priorities will change.  What we are capable of doing will change.  Things that gave us great physical pleasure in our past lose all ability to provide us pleasure.  Age produces increased susceptibility to disease as immune systems decline.  Muscles simple do not want to do what they easily did in our past.

Nothing is more important than life!  Jesus invited the 12—and you—to life.  He said the way to life passes through physical death.  His warning: Do not invest physical life in something with no future!

Suggestion for reflection: What have you witnessed in those who died because of age?  (Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell