I’m going to die soon. At least, I could die soon. After all, I am forty two years old so at best I have half my life still ahead of me. Then again, I had a cancer removed from my body just last year and if it had not been caught so early, I might be dead now or in the process of becoming dead. Just a dead man walking. In one sense we are all dead men walking; but even though our bodies will one day die, if we have surrendered our lives to Jesus then inwardly our spirits are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16) and our lives will impact others for eternity. If we believe that to be true what difference does it make in our lives today? For Christians it is so easy to be asleep in the light. We believe Jesus loves us and forgives us; we go to church on Sundays and in between try not to swear, gossip or watch bad movies; some day when our time is up we believe we will go to heaven but in the meantime we invest in RRSPs and go for our annual check-up. All of these are good things but sometimes they obscure our view and we forget there is something more important to see. We say we have given our hearts to Jesus but shouldn’t there be more to that than words? “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'” (Matthew 15:8, 9) If the good news of Jesus Christ really is, well, good news, do our lives make sense? Imagine for a moment the scene back in Jerusalem at the time of the resurrection. Jesus, having been brutally crucified just three days earlier is now walking around in the flesh declaring that those who follow Him will do even more spectacular things than He. (John 14:12) Now imagine those who saw Him and believed Him talking excitedly amongst themselves. This is absolutely amazing, they say, this is good news! We must share this gospel! Well, how shall we do that, says one. Why, we should all meet together behind closed doors on Sundays, talk about this good news amongst ourselves and then the rest of the week carry on like everyone else. Perfect, great plan, they say, in light of this good news that makes absolute sense. Right? No! Obviously that would have been the most ludicrous response. Now let us reason together. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, forever. (Hebrews 13:8) In light of the gospel, does your life make sense? Does mine? I know that my life has not always made sense in light of the gospel. I want to change that though because I refuse to live a senseless life – no matter how comfortable it might be. I don’t want to play church. I don’t want to waste my life on a powerless pseudo-version of the gospel. Am I willing to risk it all, am I willing to look a fool for the sake of the gospel, to live a life that makes sense? I ask myself what the alternative is and then I have my answer. Consider the words of Martin Luther King Jr, a man whose life made sense, a man who was willing to risk everything in order to truly live, and both in living and dying, made sense of the lives of millions:
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”
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