“Remember When…?”

“God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death…(Acts 2:24).”

My Father and his Father at the Mule Barn

I don’t remember reading this verse in the Book of Acts.  I know I have, it’s underlined in my Bible, but it never hit me like it did until today.  It’s the whole Bible, in just 13 words.

At 60, I’m more forgetful, waxing nostalgic more and more, especially kid memories––building forts, rock fights, baseball games every day, trees climbed to scary heights, or playing Three Wishes…get a million bucks, meet Al Kaline, and become an astronaut.  

A wish granted in 1969

But now, as an adult, if we’re honest, what we really want is to cheat death, to be able to say, “Hey, remember when…I was dead?”  Our death in the past tense (was dead).  Doubt it?  I’ll prove it with your own Yes and No, respectively, to my next two questions.

First, think you’ll die someday?  And, knowing that you will die, do you think about it much?  That’s odd.  You know you’ll die, but you avoid considering the afterlife.  Why?

Solomon said, “It’s better to go to funerals than parties because death is the end of every man and the living take it to heart (Ecclesiastes 7:2).”  Funerals force you to ponder what you won’t think about…a kind of warning light.  And Jesus, who cheated death, proving He was God in the flesh, is also something we avoid giving any serious consideration.  See a weird pattern here?  We ignore our biggest problem and Jesus, the only solution.    

For some reason, we do not want to think about our death, or consider the one person who ended death when “God raised Him up again.”  Can you explain that avoidance?  There are a lot of answers, but I’ll throw one out from my own childhood.  Fear!

Fred and I on Christmas Day

One day, I got caught stealing some pretty significant items and I hid from my Father, knowing full well he’d punish me (and rightfully so).  I hid in the basement under our pool table.  I had to return the items, and it was embarrassing, but I cannot remember him punishing me.  My fear was unfounded.  The next day I was still his son!  Nothing changed, and for 70 years he was my Dad.  He never mentioned it ever, and loved a thief.

I submit that you know you’re guilty too, fear your Heavenly Father will punish you, and so you avoid facing Him…ignorance is bliss, but if your car’s brakes are broken you can be ignorant, in bliss, and dead.  Your brake light, like a funeral, is a warning to respond.

Grinning today, my Dad accepted Christ before his death

I further submit that you’re wrong about our Heavenly Father, just as I was about my Dad.  “For God so loved the world (that’s you, guilty), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever (you again) believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  Twenty-five words to say He loves you, almost twice those in Acts 2:24, which should make you think twice about responding.  Repent, believe and He’ll forgive you, and then 150 years from now you can wax nostalgic with, “Hey, remember when…I was dead?”  

Awaiting the Resurrection…Normandy, France

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