Sunday, April 16, 2017

Devotion 4.17.17

Cormac McCarthy wrote a book titled "All the Pretty Horses" in 1992 which took place in Texas and Mexico in 1949.  In it, there is a spot that talks about the cowboy's view of death.  Paraphrasing it, it eluded to the notion that most people in today's world want to die painlessly and preferably in their sleep, whereas the cowboy wanted to die with his boots on so he could stand and see death coming.
If this is true, the question then becomes when did we become a society that avoids talking about or even fearing death?  The follow up question, among believers, would be, "Why? What's to fear?"

Death is a discussion we avoid, especially in western culture.  In a recent news story on NPR (within the last year or so), it was noted that death is one thing we will all experience, but it is the least popular topic and the least discussed topic.  Yet we face death, each of us, at some point in our lives.  What causes the inevitable to be something we don't want to talk about?  Is this the truest definition of irony - that a nation that claims to be believers in the Christ whose resurrection guarantees eternal life fear death?

On the day after Easter, where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, the feeling ought to be death no longer has its grip on us.  The bonds of sin, Satan, and death are broken, and Christ has freed us.  Might this have been the confusion of the disciples as they heard Christ say on at least three occasions that his death was coming and necessary?  Did they, too, have blinders and a fear of death that caused them to miss the entire point of the victory Christ was to bring? 

Paul tells us this about death:  "For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
'Death is swallowed up in victory.'
O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

Beyond Easter, we continue to recognize this victory over death given by Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection.  We pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the grace given to us from God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Hope Men's Ministry

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