From the Pulpit: Gift of eternal life replaces fear of death

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. &045;John 6

Perhaps it is not too surprising that John tells us that several people who had been following Jesus up to this point decided to go home after this conversation. Probably nearly everyone starts to follow Jesus from a self-serving basis, namely, &8220;what can I get out of Jesus?&8221; And then we discover the Jesus who calls us to receive far more than we expected-or maybe wanted.

Jesus is out to remove that fixation on death as the center of human existence. He doesn&8217;t pretend that death isn&8217;t real. Jesus sees death with clear-eyed vision and then dares to state that the gift of Life that he is bringing from God is greater than death.

It is a power to live focused, not on the fear of want or a fear of death, but rather on the power of God to make human beings alive in a way we simply never can be on our own, no matter how we try.

Robert Montgomery is the preaching minister of Cahaba Valley Church