December 27, 2007
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11: 25-26a
For years, the pizza company asked, “What do you want on your Tombstone?” When I got tired of the ad, I started answering. None of my answers were as good as the ones real people have had carved into their tombstones.
For example, in Burlington, Massachusetts, there is a stone, which reads, “Sacred to the memory of Anthony Drake, Who died for peace and quietness sake His wife was constantly scolding and scoffin', So he sought for repose in a twelve dollar coffin.” In Falkirk, Scotland, a stone says, “Here under this sod and under these trees Is buried the body of Solomon Pease. But here in his hole lies only his pod His soul is shelled out and gone up to God.”
So, what do you want on your tombstone? A company by the name of Vidstone is offering you a choice. Vidstone has developed a solar-powered, high-tech, weatherproof gadget, which attaches to a tombstone. Guaranteed for 15 years, the Vidstone can play back pictures, movies, just about anything you want to say. I also imagine the Vidstone could play back the compliments and insults of others who might be wiling to shell out $2,000 for a Vidstone.
Knowing most of our readers aren’t going to make that kind of investment, let’s forget the Vidstone and concentrate on what Jesus might have on His tombstone.
At first, I thought the words of the Daily Devotion text might be appropriate. You remember them. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
Then I realized Jesus will never have any words on His tombstone. In order to have a tombstone, you first need to have a tomb, and Jesus’ resurrection on the third day after His death assures us that His borrowed grave is completely empty.
That’s why a risen Lord Jesus assures us (John 14:19b) “Because I live, you also will live.” Jesus was born so we might be forgiven; He entered this world so we might be saved; He gave His all, so in life and in death, we might bear witness to the sure and certain hope of resurrection that comes in the Christ.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, because You were born, lived, died, and rose for me, the grave’s stranglehold on my soul has been broken. Let the witness of my life and my death always proclaim my confidence in Your blood-bought words: “Because Christ has lived, I shall live also.” In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries