“Good News for Ann Spangler!” That was the headline on a postcard I recently received, indicating that some generous company stood ready to fork out $14,480 for my funeral expenses. Plus, this company would give me a free Walmart gift card. All I had to do was sign up for a special insurance plan. I can’t tell you how excited I was! I thought about what I might buy with that gift card—maybe a beautiful floral arrangement for my casket or perhaps a new outfit to wear when they laid me out. So many possibilities.
When it comes to news that is genuinely good, you can’t beat the best news of all, which is that anyone who belongs to Christ will live forever. How exactly this works, no one but God knows. But I like to imagine it something like this: say your deepest desire is to travel to the outer reaches of the universe. Amazingly you find a spaceship that is capable of taking you there. Under your own power, you know you will never get there. But as a passenger on that powerful ship, you will make it.
I think something like that happens in our relationship with Christ. Say he is your deepest desire. Wherever he is, you want to be. United to his power, you push past the limits of your mortality, contradicting the usual expectations.
The psalmist says, “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10, NIV). And he was right as far as the usual course of things. But our life expectancy goes from eighty to infinity with the coming of Christ, whom the Bible calls “the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV). What does that mean? Among other things, it means he does everything first and then we follow. Like him, we will die. And like him, we will rise again. United to the Source of life, we are destined to live forever.
Now that’s good news, even without a free gift card to Walmart!