The old saying that we have heard since childhood declares, "There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes." The subject of death is not something that we often think about, but it sure confronts us at every turn. I just wonder, what is your reaction when you stand in the presence of death, life's ultimate foe? For many of us, the reaction is fear or denial. Some demonstrate a false bravado while others have a genuine faith which provides strength and hope.
Let me tell you about one person who stood in the face of death in an amazing way. His name was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was one of the great theologians of the last century. Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis a few days before the end of World War II. A prison doctor gave an account of the last days of Bonhoeffer. He saw the famous prisoner on his knees and wrote, "Under the scaffold in the sweet spring woods, Bonhoeffer knelt for the last time to pray. Five minutes later, his life was ended."
We could add to that by saying, "Five minutes later, his life began." Earlier that Sunday morning when the Nazi soldiers arrived during a worship service to bring Bonhoeffer to the scaffold, he said to a friend, "For me this is the end, but it is also the beginning."
What a difference faith makes. What a difference when we really trust in the One who said, "In my Father's house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you."