The other day I found a dead rat in the roof…A very, very dead rat.
Pretty gross huh? But guess what, eventually we’re gonna end up like that. The only difference being that instead of a rat shaped carcass, we’ll be a human one.
No matter which path we take in life, death is waiting for us at the end of every single one of them. We can’t escape it; we can run, but eventually it will catch up with us. Is that all life is? Birth into a world of happiness and sorrows, joys and pains, which ultimately mean nothing once we’re gone. Do we begin this journey only to have it end in such a tragic way?
We all want to be happy, we want the good times to go on forever, but suffering and death get in the way. It would seem that in the end, our desire for uninterrupted, unending happiness will be unsatisfied. We can fill our days with as many pleasures and distractions as we can think of, but down the road at some point, death is still waiting.
Many years ago an innocent man was put to death after suffering horrific torture. His friends, hiding and fearing for their own lives, mourned their loss. He had been a great man, whom they had loved dearly. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one can imagine how they felt.
Night fell on that terrible day, and the next passed. Surely it must have seemed as if a great darkness had descended upon them. Yet with the rising of the sun the following morning, strange tidings reached their ears. One of their company came and told them that she had found the tomb empty…Some of them ran to the tomb and found it just as she had said. The body was gone.
Meanwhile, the woman who had brought them this news was weeping in the surrounding garden. Looking up through her tears, she saw a man nearby who asked her why she was crying.
Assuming that he was the gardener she replied;
“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” [John 20:15]
Then he spoke her name and she recognised him. It was He whom she had been weeping for. He whose lifeless body had been laid in the tomb now stood before her alive. He who had been lying dead inside a tomb of stone, now walked in the garden outside. As the sun rose above the horizon, He had risen from the grave, and the world was changed forever.
That day has been celebrated as Easter Sunday for thousands of years since, by all those who place their hope in Him who said;
“I am the resurrection and the life: he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” [John 11: 25-26]
Indeed, death does wait for us somewhere along the road, but it has lost it’s sting. For if we place our trust in the One who has defeated it, death will be but a short darkness before a greater dawn that we could possibly imagine.
“No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path… One that we all must take.” – Gandalf, The Return of the King (movie)