It’s a universal fact of life that it eventually comes to an end. No matter how you live it – it one day will finish running its course. For many this is terrible news: to them there is nothing so terrifying as the thought that all the blessings, all the goodness, and all of the loved ones in life will eventually be swallowed up by death.
From a human standpoint this obviously makes sense: we are built to not only survive, but to thrive. It’s nightmarish to think that despite our best efforts, there’s no fooling death. It catches up to us – and almost always it comes much sooner than we’d like.
But perhaps there’s a different way of looking at the inevitable end. At least that seems to be the suggestion at the end of the book of Daniel when the angel declares to Daniel: “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.” (Daniel 12:13)
This is good news! The long-standing suffering, perseverance, and vigilance of Daniel will one day come to an end! And not just that – but Daniel can surrender to the grave with the assurance that it is a round-about to a glorious resurrection. The concluding vision of death is this: in light of the resurrection, death is a restful relief from the weariness of the world.
For followers of Jesus, we are to approach our life as “a single seed” (John 12:24), eagerly looking for an opportunity to plant it wholeheartedly for the sake of his kingdom. Such an approach to one’s life is certainly uncomfortable, exhausting, and sometimes hopeless. Jesus uses the word “hateful” (John 12:25, NIV) to describe such a posture.
We are, like Daniel, to scorn the rewards of the world. Instead, we are to bank our entire hopes on the promises of He who is “making all things new” (Rev. 21:5) in the faith that he “will not leave you as orphans,” (John 14:18). But will indeed return one day. “Behold, I am coming soon.” (Rev. 22:12)
Pastor Ryan Lunde
Young Adult Ministries