WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD
REMINDER: TOMORROW’S FAST – FOOD
A couple of weeks ago, I was driving past a graveyard. In case you haven’t noticed, over the past few years, with the development of solar lighting, loved ones have taken to placing a solar light near the tombstones of their departed family members. Quite honestly, it is a strange experience looking into a grave yard and seeing hundreds or maybe thousands of little lights flickering in the dark – reminders of those who have gone before us. The human condition generally leads us to avoid graveyards, to avoid the future that awaits us all. As the expression goes, we are all just whistling past the graveyard.
I think that is why the cross is so hard for many to look at. It reminds us of what lies ahead. A friend of mine says, “If life is a movie, you have to understand that no one is getting out alive.”
Jesus, on the cross, hung between 2 thieves. If I had planned the crucifixion, I would never have allowed two thieves to be involved in any way. The fact that these two were being crucified on a Jewish religious holiday only spoke of their depravity. We sometimes miss the significance of how these two would have been seen by people in Jewish culture – both so heinous, both deserving death.
For these two men, there was no whistling past the graveyard.
One man turned to Jesus and asked to be remembered. One man turned from Jesus and found no forgiveness. Even in the midst of the crucifixion, even in the midst of the great eternal battle, God found it necessary to show us again his ability and desire to reach out and offer forgiveness.
Luke said that the earth was darkened. The curtain in the temple was torn, revealing the holy of holies. And then Jesus looked to heaven. Beaten, tortured, but still with all confidence in knowing that God was waiting for him – Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
There is no need for me to whistle by the graveyard – the lights placed there only serve to remind me that God has rescued us from death.
How do we have confidence that there is life after death? Many philosophers and other religions claim to have insights into life after death. I simply ask how they can know what there is, unless someone has gone before.
Live boldly, knowing that Jesus has gone before. Pray for the boldness to share with others that Jesus died on a cross but his death has restored life for all.