Mike, Stanley, Steve and I were truly good friends. Not only did we attend the same local congregation and participate in all the church's activities, but when there was any free time, we were sure to be found together on one of the local golf courses. None of us were particularly good golfers, but we would always have a wonderful time, just getting some good exercise and enjoying the camaraderie of our "foursome".
But as so often happens, Satan reared his ugly head: strife developed in our congregation, feelings were hurt, and Mike and his family stopped attending.
We tried to keep in touch with Mike via a phone call once in a while, and found that Mike's family had been doing well, and that Mike's son, Josh, had grown to be a fine young man. On one occasion, we were told that Josh had rescued and saved the life of a surfer on the North Carolina coast, and then later we heard that he had attained the prestigious status of Eagle Scout. But then some time later, we heard the tragic news: Josh had been killed in an automobile accident. The loss completely devastated Mike and his family.
A couple of years went by, and the phone calls occurred less frequently. Then one day I secured four tickets to a college basketball game, and before long, I had contacted Mike, Stanley and Steve, and our old "foursome" was off the see the game.
There was a lot of catching up to do. And as Mike updated us on his family's happenings, I couldn't help but notice that there was one predominant fact that permeated each subject Mike would mention. He would say, "Before Josh died, we did this…" Or he would say, "After Josh died, we did this…" Every subject initiated by Mike began with the words, "before" or "after" Josh had died. Josh's untimely death had changed his family's entire perspective on every event of their lives. Everything was referenced by whether it had happened before or after the day Josh had died. Their lives had been changed forever.
As Christians, isn't there a specific date that has changed our lives forever? Of course there is! It is the day that Jesus sacrificed His life for our sins. Shouldn't we be saying, "Since Jesus died for us, we have strength!" "Since Jesus died for us, we have power!" "Since Jesus died for us, we have hope!" "Since Jesus died for us, we have confidence!" "Since Jesus died for us, we have eternal life!"
Jesus' sacrifice has changed our lives forever!
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 – "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
Prayer: Our Father, while the world sees death as an ending, we are so grateful for Jesus, whose death was just a beginning. Thank you for your resurrected Son who gives us strength, power, hope, confidence and eternal life. In Jesus' name. Amen.