On April 24 we celebrated the death and resurrection of one man. It was casually mentioned on some of the news, it was a big deal in our churches, and most of us posted something about it on Facebook. In the following days, we all kind of went back to our normal lives.
Just one week later, on May 1, we celebrated the death of another man. This had people out in the streets shouting and dancing, chanting the glory of our nation. Nonstop news coverage, continued comments on Facebook. We dissect each detail, hungry for more. “Where were you when you heard?”
One man died, and very honestly, nothing much has changed. Whether or not he is dead, there are still lots of people who hate my country. There are still killings and anger and misery. And yet, there is a sense of relief. It lingers. Even without TV, I cannot escape the images. We discuss it with people on the treadmill next to us, in line for coffee, at the grocery store. One man died, and truly, I’m not any different than I was a week ago.
Another man died, and the tomb is empty. That is surely more newsworthy than a corpse. And yet, I don’t spend much time talking with perfect strangers about Him.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. It’s just something I’m trying to sort out. Outside of the whole, “Should Christians celebrate a death – any death?” debate, I wonder why I’m more focused on one death, instead of one resurrection? I’m not trying to get all political or unpatriotic. What I am saying is that for me, something is wrong. Am I depending on this one death to give me a sense of peace, of security?
Please understand, I do get that this is rather a big deal. It’s one of those events which define a generation. I think back on all the defining moments throughout the ages. All of the truly horrifying people who have died – the Nero’s, Stalin’s, Hitler’s of the world. With each death, the world sighed with relief, felt a little more safe, and then went on.
Only one death spans all the ages, impacting lives throughout history. But, do I act as if this is true? Do I jump and shout and chant out His glory? Do I live my life in jubilation, in the true peace and security that no matter what happens, His one death has secured my life?
One man died who may (or may not!) have taken my life. That one man might have been able to harm my body, but not my soul. Another died – and lives! – who has given me life. Has not only given me life in this world, but has secured for me an everlasting life of perfect Shalom, where nothing will be missing, nothing will be broken.
Today I have to ask myself, on whose death am I focusing my energy, my attention? Oh, Father, forgive me for my short attention span. Thank you that through one man, Your Son, I have life, and abundant life, both now and forever. May my life reflect my joy, my peace in that one gift. The world needs the true Shalom which only comes from one man's death and life. May I be faithful to Him, and Him alone.