January 4: Life and Death

Read Ecclesiastes 9:1-12

King Tutankhamen was buried 3300 years ago. Over the centuries, “Tut” was forgotten, in spite of his role as king and his apparent wealth. Archaeologists stumbled onto his tomb without clear historical evidence that it was there or that he had lived. As they opened the passageway into the rooms containing his mummified body and the valuable items, they found them much the way they had been left millennia before. Tut had not used them. Rigor mortis had frozen his body into position.

At first glance, King Tutankhamen seems to be a prime example of all that King Solomon suggests in Ecclesiastes 9. Solomon depicts death and the grave as being dead ends. According to his description, there is neither meaningful existence for nor lasting memory of the deceased. No wonder he draws the conclusion that man should seek to enjoy this meaningless life, because when it is over, it is lights out!

Before we swallow hook, line, and sinker all that Solomon suggests, we must remind ourselves that he writes from the perspective of one “under the sun.” His are conclusions one might draw from personal human observation rather than from divine revelation. Although it is true that death is an experience that all mankind shares (Heb. 9:27), Scripture indicates that every person will have an eternal existence. You will spend eternity in God’s presence in a place called Heaven or in a place of torment called Hell. Your destination is determined by your response to the gospel of Jesus . . . that He died, was buried, and raised for your personal sin (1 Jn. 5:11-13; 2 Thess. 1:8, 9).

Meaning and purpose in the life of Christ-followers flow out of the realization that this life is brief and your opportunity to impact others for eternity is fleeting! So, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58b). Of course, “always” starts now. Don’t wait until tomorrow.

sbk

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