The Great Escape
Are you living or dying?
It was said by Mark Twain, “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Adam, the first great benefactor of the human race: he brought death into the world.” Much to the dismay of those who have long been engaged in “The Great Escape”, death knocks on the door of all as an uninvited guest. Tertullian, the third century Church Father said the following about death, “It is a poor thing to fear that which is inevitable.” The hallways of human history are littered with the remnants of failed escape plans. No matter the age, race, gender, social status, accomplishments, or popularity, the uninvited guest will continue to remind the world that he has an appointment with humanity that is inescapable. Therefore, we all would do well to recognize that the greatest escape is not found in futile attempts of missing the appointment, but rather in diligent preparation and sober understanding of it.
What is one to do with the reality of death? Moreover, what should one do with the reality of life? Diligent preparation is more than making sure that he or she has a last will and testament. Diligent preparation is not merely tending to the details of the here and now. However, it is this very mentality that plagues our society. Unfortunately for many, the uninvited guest is rather successful in his business. It has been pointed out that the statistics on death are a staggering one hundred percent. Death’s ability to arrest us even in the midst of the so called “good life” is unmistakable. How will humanity ever accomplish the great escape?
The answer lies in a rather beautiful irony. A second, uninvited guest has stepped onto the pages of human history. Although uninvited, he is rather persistent in his endeavor. He too has an appointment with humanity that is inescapable. Even while the whole of humanity is seeking to extend their stay in a land that is intended not for the sojourner, He persists in his undertaking. Like children trying to clinch sand in their hands, the world tries to hold onto that which inevitably is fading. Nevertheless, He stands with outstretched hands showing his scar covered wrists. Yet, these are not ordinary scars, for they are scars of grace that tell the story of his victory. It is a story belonging only to one but beneficial to all. No matter the age, race, gender, social status, accomplishments, or popularity, the uninvited guest will continue to remind the world that he has an appointment with humanity that is inescapable. Those whose appointments go well soon realize that death’s door is merely a corridor leading to the front door of our gracious savior’s mansion.
Kenneth Boa says it well in his book, “Conformed to His Image”, “Only when we renew our minds with biblical truth and reinforce this truth through relationships with other children of the Kingdom do we begin to see that we are on a brief pilgrimage. When we see this we discover that we must pursue the things that will last rather than the things that are passing away.” Oh death where is thy sting!