Death and Hope

On Saturday I went for a short walk and ended up walking through Ash Cemetery which is just down the road from our house.  I am not a morbid sort of character but was deeply moved by some of the inscriptions that I saw.

  • A pair of plaques with the same date marking the grave of twins who had died, aged two.
  • Grandparents who would be remembered by their grandchildren.
  • Sad messages which also spoke of love and hope.

Why do we have to die?

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God has defeated death!

This week we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and we must ask ourselves, “Why is this so important, and what is the relevance to us?”  Why is a reported event that took place nearly 2000 years ago so earth shattering?  If we believe that Jesus was who he said he was, nothing could bring more hope to the human race than God himself dying as a human being but defeating death and promising the same for us.

For centuries death has always been mankind’s final enemy. Frankly, we are all mortal and will, one day, die. But something within us rebels and says , “There must be more to it than that”. As a christian, and follower of Jesus Christ, I have a hope in a future resurrection. Is this hope well founded or is it just wishful thinking? I hope, in this article, to state why I can be so convinced that my hope in a future resurrection is based on the reality of what happened to the one I follow, Jesus Christ.

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Resurrection. Truth or Lie?

heisrisenFor centuries death has always been mankind’s final enemy. Frankly, we are all mortal and will, one day, die. But something within us rebels and says , “There must be more to it than that”. As a christian, and follower of Jesus Christ, I have a hope in a future resurrection. Is this hope well founded or is it just wishful thinking? I hope, in this article, to state why I can be so convinced that my hope in a future resurrection is based on the reality of what happened to the one I follow, Jesus Christ.

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Resurrection

Vision refreshedFor thousands of years humans of all cultures and all races have acknowledged the inevitability of physical death but have refused to accept that this event is the end of personal existence.  Almost all religions and tribal mythologies have some concept of an afterlife.  Only recently have atheists and humanists rejected the idea that there is any other form of existence for us.  I suspect that the hardest problem with accepting an atheistic world view is giving up the hope of resurrection.

There is an old saying, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes”.  In the natural world, life and death are fundamental to existence.  Jesus said,

“I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds”.

Our physical bodies consist of about 7*1027 atoms (that’s a 7 followed by 27 zeros!) or seven billion billion billion atoms.  These atoms do not really belong to us, they are constantly being replenished and eventually have to be given up to the ground, and then to produce other life.

But we are not just flesh and blood.  The real you, and the real me, is the breath that God breathed into us; what we call our spirits.  The hope and the certainty of resurrection is that even though our bodies die, our spirit can live on for ever.  Death, mankind’s oldest enemy, was defeated when Jesus as the Son of God, died a terrible death on the cross but three days later was resurrected, bringing hope to us all.  The Spirit of God, alive in Jesus, made it impossible for him to stay dead.  That same Spirit of God, alive in us, means that we too have the hope of resurrection (see Romans 8:11). [Read more…]

Jesus and non-violence

Vision refreshedThere is a cost to being opposed to violence. The cross stands out as the ultimate price of non-violence. Jesus allowed men of violence to nail him to that cross and apparently triumph over him. But the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the ultimate triumph of love over violence.

Violence is the actions of men or women against other men and women, involving physical or psychological force, in an attempt to gain power over other people.

  • In children it results in bullying
  • In evil men it results in criminality
  • In despots it results in oppression
  • In nations it results in war.

[Read more…]

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