Timeless Hope Beyond Mortality (Advent 3, 2016)

In our devotional series for 2016, we’ve been examining the Timeless hope present in the Gospel because heaven is where our mortality gets swallowed up with immortality.  Far better than any peace on earth, Christians can have peace with God because Jesus was born and taught us how to live.  And Death won’t have the final say anymore.

In Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief, the narrator named Death has quite a few memorable lines:

Death says:

  • “I have seen a great many things. I have attended all the world’s worst disasters, and worked for the greatest of villains. And I’ve seen the greatest wonders. But it’s still like I said it was: no one lives forever.
  • The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.
  • A small piece of truth: I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.”

Gee, Barb, thanks for the morbid reminder, you might be thinking. Advent, the season of hope and all that. Yeah. Merry Christmas. Bah humbug.

timeless-hope-beyond-mortalityAh, but here’s the truth: we must go further back than the manger.
To see the impact of death-of mortality-and how it stands outside of the human realm, like a circle repeating again and again, only taking different captives with every turn.

To see how angry, genuinely angry, God is at death touching His precious creation. To see His beloved image bearers succumb to sin and its consequence: mortality. Indeed our lives are like a line. We have a point of creation and a point at which our mortality stages its final stand.

If any man’s mortality was the end of his story, then Death would be right:
No one lives forever.

Enter the Messiah.  It’s why Jesus is Savior.  Enter Timeless Hope.

When Jesus came the first time to die for human sin, He didn’t do it so we’d play well in groups. He did it because death is the final enemy which will never be conquered by human peace accords, weapons reduction programs, or a borderless world. Death doesn’t care about possessions or borders or brotherhood or sisterhood in a strictly human sense. Brothers and sisters die. So do parents and children. Death doesn’t care if you follow Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, or Christianity. Death happens to rich people and poor people, wise and foolish, dreamers and realists. It even happens to the selfish and the philanthropic. To the wide awake and the sound asleep, the well-fed and hungry. It happened to John Lennon of yesterday’s Imagine. And that’s because mortality is a consequence of sin and all humans are sinners.

Death happens.  Mortality happens.  Because sin happened.

But break the circle. Conquer sin. Conquer mortality. Conquer death.

This, my friends, is the Timeless hope of all mankind. Jesus was born!  The Word made flesh, the Son of God and the Son of Man and He came with a mission: He was born to die.

Reflect today on the victory march which began in the manger at Jesus’ birth and the hope we have because of this.

1 Corinthians 15:50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Join me for Advent 2016 Devotionals called Timeless: the Message of Christmas for All Ages beginning November 27, 2106.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love will be ours as we look into the Word, see the face of our Lord Jesus, and experience restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless.

Advent began November 27, 2016.  If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the Advent devotionals automatically.  If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so.  Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings.  You don’t want to miss this great way to prepare your heart for the true meaning of Christmas!

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 29, 2016

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