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Category Archives: death

Memento Mori

While finishing up the book “Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story” by Michael Horton, I came across the curious subject of still life paintings from the Dutch masters of the 16th and 17th centuries. Horton mentions that the typical paintings contained images of, and even the text of “memento mori”, in the art work. Horton was drawing a contrast between the remembrance death in the culture of those earlier centuries and today. We don’t like to think about the fact that one day we will die.

But isn’t death the ultimate accountability?

Vanitas is the name or genre given to these 16th and 17th century symbolic works of art. Vanitas comes from the Latin noun for emptiness. The symbolic reference in the paintings is to infer that, much like the author of Ecclesiastes in the biblical narrative, life is vain or meaningless. In these paintings you will often see a half-empty glass of wine, leftover scraps of food, flowers, and most times a skull ,which is a reminder of the certainty of death.

As a Christian, like everyone else, we have to face this reality of death. But, like Horton puts it, “Our people die well.” What he means is that “believers are able to meet tragedy and death not with a cheesy grin but with a wink,in the middle of pain, knowing that for them death has lost it’s sting.”

Memento mori is Latin for “Remember death.” The phrase is believed to originate from an ancient Roman tradition in which a servant would be tasked with standing behind a victorious general as he paraded though town. As the general basked in the glory of the cheering crowds, the servant would whisper in the general’s ear: “Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!” = “Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man! Remember that you will die!”

Memento mori. Remember that you will die. As a Christian I’d like to add:

per “O mors, ubi est victoria tua? ubi est mors stimulus tuus?

O death where is your victory? Where is your sting?

As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:57:

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

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Good Friday and Finishing Well

Today is Good Friday. For some it represents one of the most horrific acts of humanity ever. The killing of the Son of God. For others it represents a celebration because in the death of Jesus Man Running Reaching Finish LineChrist, the Son of God, the many sins of many were atoned for. Paid in full. I tend toward this representation with a slight acknowledgement toward the former. God took the most horrific act of humanity ever, and accomplished the eternal redemption of humanity through the death of the Son on the cross. Can I hear an AMEN!!

All this writing of death and redemption allows me to segue into the real topic of this post. “Finishing Well” is the title of a one day seminar presented by Omaha Bible Church and senior pastor Patrick Abendroth. The seminar was created to instruct the attenders and audio listeners (that’s me) on how to finish out your days on this earth well. Our days are indeed numbered, and by the grace of God you may be allowed enough time to plan for and accomplish this task of finishing well.

Here are the two audio links:

Part 1 – Certainities you need to know in order to finish well.

Part 2 – Actions you need to take in order to finish well.

 

Below is a link to the notes I took while listening.

Finishing Well Notes

I will also post an update to this blog below with some of the planning tools mentioned in the seminar.

Update: Below is a personal profile document for you to use to plan your last days.

Personal Profile

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ

 

Sunday morning Senior Pastor Patrick Abendroth delivered a profound sermon on the importance of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We were continuing in our verse by verse study of Matthew. Just how important is the substititionary death of Christ? We started by looking at 1 Corinthians 1:18:

The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are persishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.

So how important is it to you? Is it the power of God, or is it just foolishness and unimportant? The perfect lamb of God met the righteouness of God at the moment in time. Pat went on preach about the two cries of Jesus on the cross that say it all about everything. The cries are found in Matthew 27:45-50. Please listen to the incredible sermon linked below and see if it isn’t just astounding to you as well.

Forsaken By God