“Jesus…abolished Death and brought Life and Immortality to light (2 Timothy 1:10).”
A good friend lies in the ICU right now, and will most likely be dead before this column goes to press. Eternity looms for Jeff, as it did for Paul when he wrote these words, his last letter to Timothy before Rome chopped off his head. Immortality finally revealed.
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air, Tomorrow keeps turning around
We live and we die, we know not why, But I’ll be with you when the deal goes down
Fortunately, Jeff’s a Christian (and a fellow Bob Dylan fan). We went to see Dylan at the Wharton Center last year (our third time seeing him together since Bob became a Christian) and Jeff wondered if this was the last time we’d see Bob (since Dylan is 79). Sadly, it was.
The midnight rain follows the train, We all wear the same thorny crown
Soul to soul, our shadows roll, And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down
Bob has a song, “When the Deal Goes Down” that talks about not being alone in Death for the Christian. Jeff is living these lyrics right now. What an immense comfort to his wife who sits by his side tonight, praying, knowing their separation is only momentary. And, that Jesus will usher him into eternity to be safe from any harm. Death abolished.
More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours, That keep us so tightly bound
You come to my eyes like a vision from the skies,And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down
Warren Weirsbe once said, “If you’re born once, you die twice; born twice and you die only once.” In other words, Death cannot hold you in the grave if you’re born again by the Spirit. But if you ignore Jesus, the one who conquered Death, and are only born physically, then a Second Death awaits you to pay for your own sin. It’s your choice.
In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain, You’ll never see me frown
I owe my heart to you, and that’s sayin’ it true,And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down
Those are some excerpts from Dylan’s classic song, and now I’ll take a shot at a verse:
The rich and the poor, they always want more, Immortality too far from shore. They cut and they duck, but Death still runs amok, and stands alone at their door. Asleep at the switch, there’s always some itch, thinking there’s bound to be more. But the road always ends, with no payment for sins, they’re left alone, when the deal goes down.
Maybe I’m not Dylan, but we both know without Jesus you haven’t got a chance in your ICU. If Jesus rose from the dead, and revealed Life and Immortality, can you give me one good reason why you wouldn’t bend your knee tonight and repent? I can see Jeff, a man “Forever Young,” offering a thumbs-up right now on that ICU bed. Choose Life.
* Jeff saw Jesus on the Sunday this was published. His second birth celebrated by His Friend…and got shelter from the storm.