“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth…(John 5:28-29).”
Since 1978, there have been almost 40 deaths from vending machines. Death is complicated enough, but to die by tilting a vending machine on top of you really takes the Tasty-kake. We are told death is natural, right? Wrong. Death is not natural. Death is the most un-natural thing I can think of –– we stupidly pulled it down on top of ourselves.
The Bible says death is the result of sin, our rebellion against God. “The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).” We earned death by our rejection of God’s best for us. Even today we mostly ignore God as irrelevant. “The soul who sins will die (Ezekiel 18:4, 20).” Sin changed the natural course of His loving will for us and death was conceived.
But death also focuses us. Our life can seem busy or dull, but seeing death up close changes us. We think deeper and wonder, “Where is that soul I knew so well?” We see their body, but we know it’s only a clay shell. King Solomon said, “It is better to go to funerals than parties because death is the end of every man and the living take it to heart.”
Death silences us too. No one has an answer for this bizarre event. When we stare at a loved one in a coffin, and smell decay…no one can comfort our blurry grief. No one, that is, except Jesus, the Son of David. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me shall live even if he dies (John 11:25).” Easter defanged death’s bite.
So His death saves us. That’s why His words are a marvel to those in the tombs. All the dead will hear Him…and come forth to give an account for their life. The resurrection of the dead is as sure as death stalking you today, and so is His voice to call you to judgment. Jesus earned the right when He rose again and killed death (Revelation 1:18).
Bob Dylan wrote, “Do you ever wonder just what God requires? You think He’s just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires.” We treat God like a vending machine. We think if we pull a cosmic lever then He’ll do our bidding. But what does God want? “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live (Ezekiel 18:32).” He wants to restore us, but our sin remains.
Sin made a chasm between God and us (Isaiah 59:2). We need to repent, put our sin on Jesus, and take His blood sacrifice to bridge this gap (2 Corinthians 5:21). But how? Vending means “to transfer to another person the equivalent.” We must make a transfer, and receive Him by faith (Colossians 1:13-14). You can look at a Tasty-kake all day, but it’s not yours until you pull the lever…His blood for your sin. Then His voice will be a joyous thrill to hear on that last day, if today is your salvation day (2 Corinthians 6:2).