Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12 / Luke 20:27-21:4 / Psalm 49:1-20
Dr. James Bedford, a psych professor at the University of California, was the first person to ever have his body preserved cryogenically (freezing) in 1967. He had his body frozen in liquid nitrogen with the belief that he would be revived by a future medical breakthrough. He, along with more than 70 others from around the world, are waiting for medical miracles in cancer, heart disease and a myriad of other deadly disorders.
The phrase, “I’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul” cannot be said about Dr. Bedford. His son Norman has moved his body several times to different facilities via a U-Haul! Bedford believed that he would live again yet he is not the first one to have that deep conviction. Egyptian Kings and wealthy Egyptians believed they would come alive again and also enjoy their riches, provisions and status in the afterlife. Egyptian tombs of the rich and famous were filled with gold, treasures, furniture and costly garments.
Man foolishly believes they have the ability to bring themselves back to life again and that their wealth will be enjoyed in the afterlife. In Psalm 49 we read, “Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.” (vs.16,17)
We can’t take our riches with us into eternity yet some are still not convinced. King Tut had thousands of wealthy items buried in his tomb. Reuben John Smith of Buffalo, NY died in 1899 and was buried in the comfort of a leather recliner with a checkerboard sitting on his lap. Sandra West died in 1977 and was buried with her car as she sat behind the steering wheel dressed in a laced nightgown.
It is futile to trust in the wealth, status and fame of this world. They are insignificant and powerless in the face of death’s certainty! “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him – the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough – that he should live on forever and not see decay.” (vs.7-9)
The world’s wealth cannot buy anyone a “pass” on death or a special “get out of hell” card. It is proven that there is a 100% death rate for man whether they are rich or poor! The size of a person’s bank account or worldly influence is immaterial in death. Man cannot redeem or ransom his own soul…no matter how much wealth they possess.
The Psalmist says, “But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.” (vs.15) The only thing that will redeem our lives from the power of the grave is the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one who has paid and can ever pay our ransom… It’s the only thing we can take with us into eternity!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!