It is so surreal when someone dies. Last weekend a Notre Dame student was crushed by a falling tower during a routine practice. By all traditional standards, this student was considered a “good kid”, maybe even a Christian. And still, he – and only he - perished at the hand of a natural cause.
There was a tower in Jerusalem that collapsed and crushed 18 people to death. The people of the town found themselves questioning if these people were worse sinners than they, for they were all spared. There must have been SOME reason why they were chosen to perish and others were not, shouldn’t there?
“…Unless you turn to God, you, too, will die.” – The Message
The fact is, in this world - as in the world of Christ - towers fall. People die. Survivors mourn. There doesn’t have to be a reason for any of it. And we all can’t help but wonder about the coming day when we will slip away from this world to whatever lies beyond. As Christians, we know what lies beyond. It is the lost that panic at the thought. Even so, we all can’t help ourselves from feeling shocked when this world is rocked.
Jesus responded to the mourners in Jerusalem by reminding them that everyone will die eventually, whether prematurely or in old age. His message is this: Prepare for certain death by repenting now! Jesus points to the real issue – the tragedy that many die without acknowledging their need for a Savior. This eternal tragedy far outweighs anything that this world can dish out, and yet, the number of the spiritually dead far outweighs our “natural disasters”.
We need to view life and death – and our neighbors – with an eternal perspective. We must understand that physical death separates us from those we love for a short time, but death without Christ separates those we love from the presence of God forever.
Our lives are filled with constantly leaning towers, are we braced for a fall?