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At the sixteenth chapter of Luke, Jesus tells us the story of a rich man who enjoyed the benefit of luxury every day. Outside his gate there was a poor man known as Lazarus whose body was infested with sores, the secretions of which were so great that the dogs were attracted to them.
Lazarus begged to be fed with nothing more than the rich man’s crumbs. Soon dead, Lazarus enjoyed the comfort of Paradise. Just as soon dead, the rich man suffered an eternity in the flame of hell fire.
Both these individuals came into the world the same way; they were born of woman, and were born with nothing. Though their lives would take them in entirely different directions with opposite degrees of fortune, they would later arrive at a common ground again as they did at birth: both would pass through the veil of death, and both would leave the world as empty handed as they came.
Though the world has a way of making some folks seem larger than life with their wealth, fame, and accomplishments, the truth about us all is that none is any different than the next in the eyes of God. We arrive in the world the same way, and we’ll leave here the same way.
The average or poor man’s life may not seem to glitter much, his accomplishments may never garner much acclaim, and the event of his death, funeral, and burial may fail to attract much attention. On the other hand, the wealthy, famous, and renowned may live in the spotlight with the benefit of privilege and public admiration; yet the coming of death will treat them with no greater respect than the poor and unknown.
Regardless of the ceremony and the finery of the funeral proceedings, the wealthy are reduced to the same box of bones as the poorest of the poor. Even Jesus Himself went to the same death as a pair of common thieves.
Yet what distinguished His death was what took place afterward; the resurrection, on the strength of which Jesus Christ would provide for the world the opportunity to overcome the effects of death by being partakers of life eternal. Death comes as surely as life, and it treats not a single one any differently than the next. Whether we distinguish ourselves by obedience to Christ unto eternal life after death is entirely up to us.