Man lives through and survives many hoaxes in his life- hoaxes created by society, by ill-advised friends and by tradition. However, there is one hoax he will not survive through- the hoax of invincibility.
The notion that he invincible, pervades through man’s existence here on earth. Man does not stop from his many endeavors and labor to consider that one day he will die. As he breezes through life taking risks, attaining greatness and accumulating stuff, he does not once stop to think that all this is temporary; yet there is not one thing more certain in life than the fact that one day he will die. It surely is the greatest hoax man lives with. Let us examine this hoax in more detail.
Man was created a temporal being. Genesis 1:27, 28, talks of God creating man,
‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”’
Apart from having a likeness to God (created in his image), man was created to live in the physical-temporal realm. We inhabit space and time. The command to be fruitful, fill the earth and rule over it indicates both physical occupation and temporal progression. Therefore as we observe men here on earth, they are activity oriented- we move from one task to another and each day ends with an eye on the next. So death is like an unwelcome interjection that ruins all of man’s plans and inclinations. It is a forgotten entity until of course your friendly neighborhood insurance agent drills the fear of death into you so that you will buy his policy.
Having a likeness of God means that we have an eternal element within us as we occupy this temporary space-time continuum. This eternal element is what sets our minds on endless desires and creates a longing for eternity. Setting a limit to desires is like trying to gather the ocean in your arms. In general, man wishes to prolong his life despite the frailties of the human body. If man were eager to die, the health profession would be out of business.
The eternal likeness to God also ensures that nothing on this earth will completely satisfy us. Is it not true that our indulgences – the richest food, the most extravagant vacation and the most sensual pleasures only leave you not fully satisfied and with a thirst for more? There is the lurking feeling that all of this is just a mere reflection of what is really true, what is eternal and can really satisfy our deepest longings.
God, who by definition is eternal, alone can satisfy our eternal longings, transplanting us from a temporary state to one that has a footing in the infinite. We could have the choice to be truly invincible rather than live the hoax of invincibility. Yet when the call to open oneself to God through the one and only source of salvation, Jesus Christ, comes our way, we shirk away. And the hoax lives on—–.
- A SYNOPSIS OF THE GOSPEL