Since the tragic death of Nick Adenhart on Thursday morning, a lot of people have been very affected by it. Why? Well, mostly because of how young Nick was. He was only 22, a kid really, with his whole Major League career and life ahead of him. A lot of people have been shocked by this incident because they know that they easily be in the same position that Nick was.
Things like this remind us of the fragility of life, don’t they? One night, Nick was throwing six scoreless innings. The next, he’s gone. Life is extremely fragile. It can be snuffed out, just like that.
I think this scared a lot of young people especially. At the age Nick was, most people think they know everything and that they’re invincible. Well, they’re not.
We face the risk of death every day really. Death is an inescapable reality. There’s only one thing certain about life, and that’s that it’s going to end. We are all going to die, one way or another.
People don’t like the talk or even think about death. For most of us, it’s some far-off reality. I don’t think any of us expect to die until we’re really old, like in our 80s or 90s. But then incidents like Nick’s death come around and knock us off our feet. It could happen to any of us. We could be doing something as simple as driving to the grocery store and a drunk decides to run a red light.
I’m not afraid of death, of dying. I used to be, I used to freak out about it. I used to be afraid for my family and my friends. I was so worried, so afraid of death. I was clinging too tightly to the world. I was worried about what would happen to all my stuff if I died. But then one of my mentors asked me if I was prepared to die. I told him yes, but thinking about it later, I realized that I really wasn’t. So I prayed and read my Bible, and the Lord gave me peace about dying. Ever since, I have had no fear of death.
You may be wondering how I can be at peace about dying. Well, most people see death as the end of the road. To them, once you die, there’s nothing. That’s it. But to me, death is only the pathway to something bigger and incredibly better than this life: Heaven.
Now, the reason I get to go to Heaven is because I am so perfect and because of all my good deeds, right? I deserve to go to Heaven, right? Dead wrong! I am a sinner! If I was not saved by Christ, I would be wallowing in sin right now. The only good things that come out of me are because of God. Without Him, I am nothing. We can’t work our way to God.
This weekend, we are celebrating a holiday that has been relatively unaffected by the modern day culture. Oh sure, there’s the Easter Bunny and eggs, but the main focus is on church, the cross, and lilies. For a lot of people, Easter is one of the two times a year that they go to church, have an Easter hunt, and eat good food. For Christians, this weekend is so much more. This weekend, we reflect on the death of our Savior.
Good Friday. Interestingly named, huh? The death of Jesus was a dark and extremely sad event. He was tortured and nailed to a cross. He was rejected by His Father as He took on all the sins of His people onto Himself, and He died.
But that death was not the end of the story. To the people back then, it looked pretty hopeless. The Christ, the Son of God, was dead. The Jews had been waiting for the Messiah for generations. When He finally came, He came as a poor carpenter. They were expecting a strong powerful king who would liberate them. But now, to top it all off, He was dead.
But three days later, He rose from the dead. By living a perfect life that we could never live, and by dying the death that we deserved, He conquered death. His death gives us life. If we believe in Him, trust Him, and follow Him, He offers us salvation and a hope.
You see, when we believe in Jesus, His righteousness is credited to us. We don’t have to fear death anymore, because He conquered it! When we die, we will be in the presence of God forever. This world will pass away, but His kingdom will never perish. Can’t you see why I don’t fear death? When I die, I go to be with my Savior…forever!
We can’t wrap our minds around forever because we are so conditioned to everything having a time, a start and an end. We can’t imagine forever, but we know it will be incredible.
Death is not the end for those who have placed their trust in Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. I am not saved because of what I’ve done or what I’ve accomplished, but by what Jesus did for me on the cross, so many years ago. And that’s why I’m celebrating this weekend.
You can’t really live until you’re prepared to die.
I do have to warn those of you who have not placed your trust in God, though. The Son of God died. He became our failures, He became our sins. We’d better not take this lightly. In light of this truth, how then can we ignore such a great salvation? There is going to be a Judgment Day, and everyone will be accounted for what they did in their lives. If you are saved by Christ, you have nothing to worry about. But if you are not, how will you escape? God is offering you unconditional love, eternal life, and redemption from sins. All He asks is that you follow Him. How can you ignore such a great salvation?
You’ve heard of the opposite of Heaven, haven’t you? Hell. Just as Heaven is a reality, so is Hell. And like Heaven, Hell lasts forever. Don’t wait until it’s too late. You don’t know when you’re going to die. Nick Adenhart didn’t. He didn’t finish his start and think, I’m going to die tomorrow. He didn’t know! You and I don’t either. Don’t put this off. The Heavenly Father is willing, if you are willing to let Him in. How can you ignore such a great salvation?
“Whoever believes in the Son has enternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3.36)
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into thw world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4.9-10)
“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5.8)
I hope you guys have a blessed Easter!
(photo credits: latimes.com, faithwestnewton.net)