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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The death is announced!

No-one will need me to tell them that the major news story at the beginning of this week has been the death of former British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher.  It's a story that has been broadcast all around the world - and one that has been met with either sadness or an almost obscene expression of joy.  Mrs Thatcher, it would seem, was one of those about whom it was difficult to be ambivalent!

My mind has gone back just over a week, as many of us remembered in a special way, the death by crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, almost 2,000 years ago.  He, too, was One about Whom it was (and is) difficult to be ambivalent.  He was, and is, either loved, or hated.  He cannot be ignored.

Much has already been written about Mrs Thatcher's legacy and, doubtless, much more will be written.  However the record may be biased, by friend or foe, she made, and left, her mark on not only the U.K. but also the wider world.

Much has been written about Jesus.  Some by friends; some by foes.  However, His legacy is one that no politician, however famous; no member of the aristocracy, however wealthy; no celebrity in sport, entertainment, or whatever; could ever leave.  He, and He alone, has left the offer of full salvation, purchased by the shedding of His own blood at Calvary.  That's what we remembered a week past on Friday.  It's what those of us who partake in the Lord's Supper (aka Communion; the Eucharist) remember every time we come to the Table.  It's the central message of the Gospel - "... God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8; RSV).

But then, of course, came the Resurrection!  And here there is a great difference between the Lord Jesus and the former PM.  You see, Mrs Thatcher will rise - but to a judgement, the outcome of which it is not for me, or anyone else, to speculate.  The Lord Jesus has risen - and He is the Judge!  Those who have placed their trust in Him, in this life - be they figures on the world's stage, or social nonentities - will spend the timelessness of eternity in His glorious Presence; those who rejected, or simply ignored Him, will spend that same eternity without Him.

The question for each one of us is simple: "What will you do with this Jesus Who is called the Christ?" (see Matt.27:22).  On your answer to that question, depends your eternal destiny.  Choose life; choose Jesus.

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