It’s been said it’s a part of circle life. It’s been said the only guarantee in life are taxes and death. It’s also the subject of the first lie the Devil ever told. In Genesis we read:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5 ESV
We all know the story Adam and Eve eat from the tree and death is introduced into the world. Death affects us all in different ways but always profoundly. Sometimes it almost seems like the oddities that surround death affect the reality that we live in.
What do I mean?
In my post Final Destination – Surviving Las Vegas I talked about how chaotic and violent experiences seem to cause death by bizarre circumstances beyond the violent event. In that post I talked about the bizarre deaths of some who survived the Las Vegas shooting only to die shortly after. I also very candidly talked about a string of bizarre accidental deaths, suicides, and murders that followed my army unit upon our redeployment from Iraq.
In the 2009 film, Star Trek Into Darkness, there is a scene where Scotty, the chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise, has been relieved of duty. On the bridge Kirk tells Chekov (normally the navigator) that he is now the new chief engineer. “Mr. Chekov” Kirk asks, “You’ve been shadowing Mr. Scott and you are familiar with the engineering systems on this ship?”, “Affirmative”, Chekov replies. “Good” Kirk says, “You’re my new chief, go put on a red shirt” You can see the look impending doom on Chekov’s face, because in the Star Trek World we all know what the red shirt means. In many episodes of Star Trek it was the extras in the red shirts, who often met their demise.
When it comes to death it seems sometimes ‘life imitates art’ (or in this case should I say death imitates art).
In hindsight there is almost the sense that that scene was prophetic. It was only a few years later, in 2016 that Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Chekov died in a bizarre accident involving his defective Jeep Grand Cherokee. His death caused Chrysler to initiate a recall, but too late for Chekov. It should be noted that Leonard Nemoy who played the original Mr. Spock also died a few months earlier. He also had a cameo appearance in Star Trek Into Darkness. Both actors had finished filming the next Star Trek Movie, Star Trek Beyond, both of them making their last appearances on film In Star Trek Beyond, posthumously.
Earlier this month we were all saddened by the death of world renowned physicist and all-around super genius Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking died on March the 14th, also known to nerds everywhere as Pi day π. If you weren’t aware, Pi π is the number defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is a mathematical constant.
Stephen Hawking, born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death, died on anniversary of Einstein’s birth, all on Pi Day π! His death on Pi day π, led many to ask if there was meaning in it? Is the circle complete? Is God trying to tell us something?
By the way I use the term ‘nerd’, and ‘geek’ with love, and if you couldn’t tell from my Star Trek references, I count myself as one.
On the day Billy Graham died The Drudge Report posted this on their website:
Many people pointed out the similarity to Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The whole passage of Matthew 24 is Jesus teaching of what is called ‘The Birth Pains’, the time just before He will return.
Of course this made many wonder was there some sort of prophetic significance to Billy Graham’s death. Did Matt Drudge and the very awesome crew that work hard at the Drudge Report purposely post this, or did they come up with a brief headline, unaware how closely it resembled Matthew 24:14
What’s even more coincidental, Billy Graham’s funeral took place during the Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim is the Jewish festival held in spring to commemorate the defeat of Haman’s plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.
According to Breaking Israeli News:
Strangely and unexpectedly, Reverend Billy Graham will be buried on the upcoming Purim festival, a Jewish holiday that signaled the hidden beginnings of a redemption process that culminated in the building of the Second Hebrew Temple.
Reverend Graham’s pioneering of a new framework for Jewish-Christian relations based on not proselytizing to Jews was revolutionary, changing a millennium of difficult interactions between the two religions. This was expressed by Reverend Graham himself in his description of his first visit to Israel in 1960 at the behest of his friend, former US President Dwight Eisenhower.
“When I first took a preaching tour of Israel, I stayed with Mrs. Golda Meir, who was then foreign secretary, and promised her that I was not there to proselytize,” Graham wrote of that trip. “Rather, I was there to thank the Jewish people for proselytizing me.”
More from Breaking Israeli News:
Ultimately, Graham’s burial on Friday, which is the day that Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem, could not be more timely. He envisioned the rebuilding of the Hebrew temple and Jerusalem, and Purim was the beginning of the process that led to the building of the Second Temple. Moreover, as the Purim story took place in the 70th year of Babylonian exile, Graham’s passing happens to occur not just before Purim but on the 70th year since Israel’s rebirth.
Anne Graham Lotz
This did not escape the notice of Anne Graham Lotz, Billy’s daughter, author, founder of AnGel Ministries, and a successful evangelist in her own right.
Here are Anne Graham Lotz remarks at her father’s funeral:
“I believe from heaven’s perspective that my father’s death is as significant as his life, and his life was very significant. I think when he died that was something very strategic from heaven’s point of view. And I know that before the foundations of the world were laid February 21st 2018 was the date that God chose to take my father home. Why? I had a sweet friend who urged me to look that up on the web, so I looked up what was significant about that day and I found out that February 21st 2018 is the day when Jews focus on scripture readings that focuses on the death of Moses.
“Moses was the great liberator – he brought millions of people out of bondage to slavery, got them to the edge of the Promised Land and God took him to heaven. Then God brought Joshua to lead them into the Promised Land to take them home. My father also was a great liberator; he brought millions of people out of bondage to sin and he gets us the edge of heaven, the edge of the Promised Land and then God has called him home.
“Could it be that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promised Land, to lead us to heaven? And do you know what the New Testament word is for Joshua is? It’s Jesus. I believe this is a shot across the bow from heaven – I believe God is saying wake up Church, wake up world, wake up Anne. Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming. And Jesus said…in Matthew 24:14 when the gospel is preached to the whole world then the end will come.”
“I pledge to you, daddy, that in view of his appearing, and in front of all these witnesses, I will preach the word! I will do the work of an evangelist and I will share the gospel and I will run my race and live my life so that five minutes before I see Jesus I have no regrets. I will live my life to glorify and exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Anne was suggesting the timing father’s death may have had some prophetic significance. She compared her father’s ministry to that of Moses leading his people to the Promised Land, her father leading many to Christ. She urged the Church to wake up, and again pointed to Matthew 24:14.
Even though he lived long and prospered, Star Trek fans worldwide were saddened by the loss of Leonard Nemoy, and after Anton Yelchin died it was announced the character of Chekov would not be recast. Any future Star Trek movies would no longer have Chekov at the helm. Our ‘Star Trek world’ was forever changed.
The real world in which we live seems changed also by the loss of Steven Hawking. He was the genius of our time. After all who is left to take his place? Michio Kaku? Neil Degrasse Tyson? Certainly not Bill Nye the science guy. Perhaps nobody can.
Billy Graham was perhaps the most famous evangelist in the last 100 years, perhaps ever, and the world seems very different now. There is on one hand the idea that Billy Graham represented all that was good in this world. That somehow he represented the Gospel symbologically and now that the Lord took him home that means times up.
Are we about to enter in the birth pains?
There are plenty of converging signs that suggest so.
Do you know Jesus?
If you don’t, would you like to?
“You were created to know God in a personal way—to have a relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ.” Learn more from Greg Laurie.