…Death and Taxes
In a letter written by Benjamin Franklin in 1789 Franklin states “Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency but in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”. Whilst some might seek to avoid paying taxes and many more go to great lengths to prolong life Franklin’s observation remains true to this day.
Fundamental to the Christian faith is the certainty of the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. When approaching Jerusalem for the last time Jesus sought to forewarn his disciples of what would take place there. In Mark Chapter 10 verse 33 He says “Behold we go up to Jerusalem and The Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priest and unto the scribes and they shall condemn him to death and shall deliver him to the Gentiles; and they shall mock him and shall scourge him and shall spit upon him and shall kill him and the third day he shall rise again. Twice earlier in the previous two chapters Jesus had told the disciples of his impending death but he always concluded with the fact that on the third day he would rise again Mark Chapter 8 verse 31 and Chapter 9 verse 31. Mark also records that the disciples had difficulty understanding these things but were afraid to ask Him Mark Chapter 9 verse 32. In John Chapter 10 when speaking of Himself as the good shepherd Jesus says that of His own volition “he lays down his life for the sheep” John Chapter 10 verse 11. Later on in the chapter he speaks of the authority he has both to lay down his life and to take it again” John Chapter 10 verse 18. When seeking to comfort Martha concerning the death of her brother Lazarus Jesus declares “I am the resurrection and the life”.
After the Resurrection had taken place and Jesus had returned to heaven the disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit began to carry out His instructions and preach the gospel Mark Chapter 16 verse 15. Central to this good news was the fact that Jesus had been raised from the dead indicating that God was satisfied with the sacrifice Christ had made for sin at Calvary. In the house of Cornelius, Peter spoke of being a witness who had eaten and drunk with Jesus after he rose from the dead. Acts Chapter 10 verse 41. On the authority of scripture the Christian can rejoice and echo with certainty the words of Job “I know that my Redeemer lives” Job Chapter 19 verse 25.