There is tragedy about death. It seems such waste.
In 1912 Jim Thorpe was called "the greatest athlete in the world" by King Gustav V of Sweden. That year he became the first person ever to win both the decathlon and pentathlon in the Olympics. In 1953 Jim Thorpe died. That body which was once such an amazing combination of strength and coordination is now a pile of dust. What a waste!
The questing scientist probes the outer reaches of space. His highly trained mind works with concepts and formulas that were unknown a few years ago. Yet that brain will one day die and begin to decay.
The surgeon's skilled and sensitive fingers guided by years of training and experience perform miracles in modern medicine. Live are saved that were once thought lost. But even the surgeon must die and those hands that once saved others will become cold and lifeless.
Every man in unique, a combination of genes and training that is never to be repeated. Every man is beautiful, with strengths and weaknesses possessed by no other. Yet every man must die. What a waste! Is this the end?
At the age of 97, philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote, "We stand on the shore of the ocean, crying to the night and the emptiness; sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is the voice of one drowning; and in a moment the silence returns. The world seems to me quite dreadful; the unhappiness of many people is very great, and I often wonder how they all endure it"
Is there no hope? Is man simply an accident on the stage of time? Is life without purpose and meaning, a tragic mistake? Is death the end of all, the dropping of time's curtains on a tragedy?
Years ago a Carpenter stood in the grim presence of death and said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes on me though he die, yet shall he live." (John 11:25) Then to prove His claims Jesus brought a man back to life, a man dead for four days.
Men die and will be separated from God forever because of sin. There is a Hell (Matt. 25:46). But Jesus Christ suffered on a rough, wooden cross, tasting death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). He died that we might live forever. Three days later He arose from the grave. Now believers wait for Christ to return and to raise the dead (I Thess. 4:16-18). Death does not end all. There is hope.
Jesus said, "He that believes on me....." Faith here is more than knowledge. It is confidence and commitment. It is placing yourself in Christ's hands. It is trusting Him.
God loves you and wants you to have hope, not despair. You can have life and hope if you turn to Christ in faith. Will you say, "Lord Jesus, I believe you died for me and I trust you to make me right with God. I want you to be my Lord and Savior. I want to become your follower." When you do this, despair is gone and you can really begin to live. Christ came to "deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to slavery" (Hebrews 2:15). Why not begin to live- now?
-Donald L. Norbie
Christian Missions Press
Box 2222 OKC, OK 73101 USA