Tag Archives: death

A Couple of Good Purim Lessons For Everyone

Do you celebrate Purim? Unless you are a Jewish child, or have Jewish children/grandchildren, Purim probably isn’t big on your to-do list today. But even if you aren’t celebrating, or Jewish, we can all learn good lessons from this holiday.

Purim comes from Esther, the last book of history in the Old Testament. It takes place when Persians ruled (mid-400’s B.C.). It is a “rabbinical” holiday, meaning that it was not instituted by God’s command, i.e., Passover, Yom Kippur, etc. Rather, somewhat like the 4th of July, it is a celebration of a great victory.

The holiday gets its name from the plural of “pur” or lots. Haman wanted to kill all the Jewish people because a Jewish man named Mordechai would not bow down to him. “Lots” were cast to choose a day for all Jews to be killed in their towns. Instead, though, by God’s providential care, and the work of Esther, God’s people were saved. A day of celebration, “Purim,” commemorates that victory.

Today, Jews celebrate Purim with:

  • Reading Esther.
  • Giving gifts to the poor – a reminder to help the less fortunate.
  • Festivities: decorations, costumes, food, music, etc.

You might ask, “What does that have to do with me?” Consider two great lessons from Purim…

First, Esther was in the right place at the right time to help people. We are equally in the right place at the right time to do something for God’s glory. What is it? I’m not sure what your calling is, but “for such a time as this” you have a purpose! Read Romans 12 and consider your spiritual gift for God’s purpose.

Secondly, Purim celebrates salvation from certain death. A letter of death was sent and their fate was sealed. God intervened. Today, Christians are also saved from the certain death of sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23). But do you celebrate that fact? Remember to thank God for salvation!

So…you may not be dressing up, celebrating, or eating yummy Hamantashen today, but it is always a good time to review some scripture, remember God’s providential care, and rejoice in His victory!

Simmer on Truth Before Throwing Out The Crock Pot

It is an old story. Esau sold his brother his birthright for some stew. Then Esau got mad and blamed the slow cooker and threw it out the window. Wait, what?

Don’t remember that part of Genesis 25:29-34? That is because it didn’t happen. But what happened next is just as irrational and could be good lesson for “This Is Us” fans.

If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll catch you up. Jack, a popular character, recently died, and fans were really upset. Even though they know it is just fiction (I think), they lashed out against the villain who killed their “hero.”

The only problem? The villain was a slow cooker!

A faulty slow cooker burst into flames and burned the house down. So fans took to Twitter vilifying Crock Pot. Some wrote that they were throwing their Crock Pots out; others said they were removing Crock Pot from their wedding registry; and others disparaged Crock-Pot for making a faulty product!

The backlash was so bad that Crock Pot issued a statement:

“For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode… the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”

So…back to Esau. He blamed Jacob for the loss of his birthright. Now, to be fair, he didn’t blame the stew. But just as irrationally, he blamed Jacob! Instead, his foolishness was to blame.

Of course, we act the same. We refuse to blame ourselves so we pick a villain – no matter how irrational it is. We should blame the true villain, our own sins (James 1:14-15).

Am I disappointed when things don’t go my way? Sure. But do I throw out my Crock Pot because a fictional character on a fictional show has a fictional death? Please.

And stew on this…my sins and yours caused the real Son of God to come and really die on a real cross. That’s no fiction. How will you react to that?

Allow simmering for 6-8 hours…

Wait Until The End. It is going to be amazing!

So maybe you saw the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game. Tennessee won in double overtime. How? No one really knows. Butch Jones called it a, “will to win,” season. I just call it another 4th quarter heart attack season!

But during the game, many Tennessee fans gave up. Many said…“unflattering” words on Facebook or Twitter. Many fans began planning Butch’s retirement party.

Then, with a solid effort, UT caught up, blocked a field goal, and stopped a goal line run for victory in double overtime. And, in football, “a W is a W,” no matter how messy it was getting there. It is in the books. Tennessee is 1-0.

That game was a little like the Christian life. Our lives are messy. We sin. We fail. And sometimes Satan backs us up like Georgia Tech running a triple option.

But, especially in hard times, we need to cling to one truth – we win! Victory is certain for those in Christ. Satan has been defeated. Sure, he will take down as many players as he can along the way. But, for those who remain faithful to the end, eternal salvation is secure.

You see, unlike some fans, the team never gave up. They stayed in the game until the end. And that is the Christian life. We aren’t fair-weather fans watching a game; we are players on the field.

There will be times of discouragement. There will be times of disappointment. You may not be able to see how God will use your life to bring about His glory. You may not see how these present struggles will end in a “W.”

But if we remember that victory is in Christ, the Christian will never give up. The final enemy, death, will be crushed when Christ returns. Just be faithful until the end…it’s going to be amazing!

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

There’s No Body, But He Isn’t A Missing Person

Swiss police identified two bodies on an Alpine glacier recently. Marcelin Dumoulin and his wife, Francine, were 40 & 37 respectively, when they went missing. But this was no simple missing persons case – they had disappeared on Aug. 15, 1942, nearly 75 years ago!

Amazingly, the bodies were perfectly preserved, lying next to each other in the ice. Police believe they likely fell into a crevasse. The family reported that rescue teams had searched for 2 months back in 1942, but with no success.

Due to warming, the Swiss regional police say that, as glaciers retreat, several missing person cases are being resolved. The ice has preserved, stuck in time, those who have died. The Dumoulin family is relieved to finally have closure.

When people go missing, it is traumatic for the family. There are many questions that are left unanswered. That is why funerals are so special – a moment of closure for the family.

But there is one famous person whose body went missing and His family took great comfort from the lack of a body! His name was Jesus, and His empty tomb makes all the difference. It makes Christianity unique. There is no body!

In fact, it isn’t the followers of Christ who look for His body today; rather, it is His detractors. Non-believers hold a belief that His body will be found. But the body isn’t there, it never will be, and that’s good for Christianity.

The lack of a body causes consternation for critics, but the facts are irrefutable. The Roman soldiers knew it; the Jewish authorities knew it; and the disciples and eyewitnesses knew it. Jesus rose from the grave, showed Himself to many eyewitnesses, and went to heaven.

Jesus’ family, the church, takes great joy and comfort knowing that there was no body. It is the foundation of the faith. He overcame death, and those who are in Him will too. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Though funerals are good for earthly closure, I look forward to a better day…and I hope you do too.