1 Corinthians 15:56-57 - The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
You probably don't know the name of rock-and-roll guitar player Tommy Allsup.
On the other hand, many of you would be able to tell me what Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the "Big Bopper" have in common. Yes, that is correct. Those last three, along with pilot Roger Peterson, were all killed when their plane crashed into a snowy, Iowa cornfield on February 3, 1959.
Now back to Tommy Allsup. What does Tommy Allsup have to do with the other guys?
Let me explain by telling you that Allsup was part of Buddy Holly's band. The three headliners, along with others, were making a lot of one-night stands as they toured the country. Most of the time they would finish a gig, get on a bus, and drive to the next location. It was a grueling schedule, and one which everyone hated.
After their concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, a small plane was made available to take a select few to their next destination. Two of the headliners, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly, were immediately given seats on the plane.
Who would get the last seat was decided by the toss of a coin between Tommy Allsup and Ritchie Valens.
Valens won the coin toss and died; Allsup lost the coin toss and lived. Indeed, lucky Tommy Allsup lived for more than another half century.
According to the Associated Press, on January 11, 2017, at the age of 85, in Springfield, Missouri, lucky Tommy Allsup passed away from complications after a surgery.
Death may have ignored Allsup in 1959, but death never forgot him.
Indeed, death, with a few notable exceptions recorded in Scripture, never forgets anyone. You may lead a charmed life; you may have the "luck of the Irish"; you may manage to get through life without stubbing your toe or bumping your funny bone, but death will not forget you.
All of us are sinners and the price we pay for being sinners is this: all of us can expect that death, someday, will pay us a personal visit. He may give us a long warning that he is coming, or he may simply show up at an unexpected, unannounced and inconvenient time.
The coming of death is the bad news of this devotion.
The fact that you don't have to fear his approach is the good news. So that the fear of death might be minimized and the sting of the grave might be diminished, the Lord sent His Son into this world to become our Substitute. Jesus' perfect life was ended in an unfair death. Through life and death Jesus took our place, and now things are different for those who believe on Him as Savior.
Things are different because we are saved and because we are saved we know death is not our end and the grave is not our finish.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we always give thanks to You for giving us the victory over death and grave, through the victory of our living Lord Jesus. In His Name we pray. Amen.
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was written by the Editors of Newser on January 13, 2017. The website where the parent article can be found is: www.newser.com/story/236833/guitarist-who-won-musics-most-famous-coin-flip-is-dead.html
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries