A couple of weeks ago I was in Newton, Kansas and happened to see a sign in the window of one of the stores--"Going Out of Business."
The following week, I was back in Newton. And again, I saw the sign. I thought, "That store still seems to be in business, for going out of business."
It reminded me of a time I went into a clothing store a few years ago that had a "going out of business" sign in its window. Inside, there were plenty of customers rummaging about. The cash register was ringing up lots of sales. I even bought a few things. Business was looking pretty good.
When you look at death, it appears to be doing a pretty brisk business. It always gets its customer. It will eventually get you and me. It's only a matter of time. I've seen people skirt death like a cat, but I've never seen a dead person rise. As N.T. Wright says, "It didn't take the philosophers of the Enlightenment to enable people to realize that dead people stay dead."
Over this past Memorial Weekend, we remembered loved ones who died. In fact, I met one couple that decorated graves at six cemeteries in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Lots of communities, like ours, held Memorial Day ceremonies at their local cemeteries.
Death looks like it's very much in business. However, 2,000 years ago, after lying in a grave for 3 days, Jesus rose from the dead. And in that act, God posted a notice on death's store front--"Going Out of Business."
Christ rose first. Eventually, we who believe in Christ will follow.
So if you get frustrated at death's seemingly never ending activity, just remember, it has a sign in it's window.