Okay, first of all it’s a Tuesday-Monday. You know, the first day of the work week after a blessed Monday off with the family and everything collides on this day so that the rest of week is less than chaotic (yep, that’s my rampant optimism shining through in my hopes that this week is “less than chaotic”). Mondays are normally more administrative / evaluative for me and Tuesdays are full of meetings (today alone I have a 9:00, 10:30, 1:00 (staff mtg) and 4:00). So, obviously the admin is taking a hit this week.
Therefore, the title of this blog “death sentence” is no response to it being a Tuesday-Monday. It’s a response to some thoughts from Sunday’s message.
In John 21:18-19, John makes clear that what’s been said by Christ is to show what kind of death Peter would glorify God in. Essentially, we only have snippets of church history / folk-lore to give any indication how Peter died. It is common to think he was crucified upside down, having deemed himself unworthy to die like Christ. We just don’t know. Therefore, the point of John’s statement must focus on the fact that Christ was preparing Peter to live in such a way that even in his death, God would be glorified.
Now, John goes on to record Christ’s words in John 21:19 to Peter, “Follow me.” It is in this two word imperative that we essentially find the means of dying a God glorified death. I know, this is awfully morbid talk for a Tuesday-Monday, but I’m in good company. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 that it’s better to go to a funeral than a birthday party. Why? Because it makes us wise for living. The Puritans were seen as a melancholic sort (I like ’em), but when you read the amount and depth of their writings you see a pervading wisdom of living because they examined their own mortality on a regular basis. Luther did this as well.
At different times we all have mortality moments. It may come at the death of a loved one, a difficult medical diagnosis, or even testing for something that may turn out to be nothing. Take wisdom from those experiences to examine how your “follow me” part of life is going. Are you treasuring Christ above all things? Do you love Him? Are you truly born again? Ask these questions in light of the fact that we all have a death sentence and rejoice in the Lord’s provision of “mortality moments” so that we find even greater assurance in our eternal destiny.