May 24, 2021 - Murakami’s Lament

Japanese author Haruki Murakami put in the mind of a character the following thought: “I stare at this ceaseless, rushing crowd and imagine a time a hundred years from now. In a hundred years everybody here—me included—will have disappeared from the face of the earth and turned into ashes or dust.”

You can’t argue with the logic, can you? It is kind of strange, if you think about it, that in one hundred years, most likely everyone you know will be dead and gone, you, too. Just one hundred years. Most won’t be here anywhere near that long, either.

And if this is all that there is, this life and this death, what does it mean? What can it mean? Many others besides Murakami have lamented on the meaninglessness of our lives if, in the end, we are all gone and everyone who ever knew us is gone and even every memory of us is gone, and gone forever, too.

Of course, there is the Gospel, the plan of salvation, whose purpose is to give us eternal life in Jesus. As Jesus Himself said: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:36).

That is, those who lament about the meaninglessness of a temporary existence are right—which is precisely why Christ died for us and then rose on the third day. As the apostle Paul, quoting the Old Testament, quipped, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32), which is the idea of just having fun now because it all ends in oblivion anyway. That is, of course, only “if the dead do not rise” (1 Corinthians 15:32), which thanks to Christ, they will.

So, yes, if time lasts, one hundred years from now most of us alive now will be dead. But long term, in eternity . . . those covered by the blood of Christ?

That’s a whole different story!

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