“Basics”

It would be hard to imagine a more disparate group of individuals than those found in that back room on that day.  A casual observation would reveal people of all ages, sizes and races.  Further examination would show that some were well-off physically and economically.  They had been able to afford dental implants, elegant hairdos, expensive suits and other signs of wealth.  Others, however, definitely showed the ravages of neglect and poverty.  And yet, they were all strangely silent. No one bragged nor complained about their status.  As the group of strangers moved around among them, they gave each an identity label.  No one received preferential treatment because they all had one thing in common.  They were in a mortuary being prepared for burial.  How they all died at the same time is uncertain—perhaps asphyxiation—but death had become the great equalizer.  In the end there was no special treatment nor discrimination, no self-aggrandizement nor self-abasement.  Everyone there lacked the most basic thing –the breath of life.

What comes next is even more basic and certainly more important—the examination of our souls.  Since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) the last Judgement will be fair and not based on human evaluations.  One of the Pharisees in Jesus’ parable believed he could praise himself on merit and judge another on his conduct (Lk 18:9-14).  Jesus totally quashed that concept with His example of the plank and the speck in one’s eye (Mt 7:1-5).  The final denouement of one’s eternal soul will be based on our relationship with Jesus Christ (Mt 25:31-46) and the mercy of God towards those whose heart is pure (Jas 4:6) (Heb 6:10). Somewhat like the mortuary scene where no dead person could any longer judge another, in the throne room of Christ the only one judging will be Him.  The basic fact of physical life is taking the next breath.  The basic fact of our eternal soul is trusting and obeying our Savior (Jo 15: 10) (Lk 9: 23-25).

–Jim Bailey