Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
The year was 1888. Alfred’s brother, Ludvig had just died while visiting Cannes France. It was a great loss, but the news that shook Alfred even more than losing a brother was a newspaper obituary that a friend sent him from a Paris newspaper. The obituary had mistaken Alfred for his brother Ludvig. In the Obituary it had called Alfred as the worlds leading “Merchant of Death,” and said that Alfred had made it possible to kill more people more quickly than anyone in world history.
Alfred was an inventor. He held 355 patents during his lifetime, but none made him more money than his invention of nitroglycerin mixed with an absorbent sand. He called it dynamite. Alfred had created dynamite to make it easier to dig tunnels, build dams and create canals. It saved time, money and even lives, but in the wrong hands, it became an instrument for war and mass destruction.
On reading the mistaken obituary, Alfred immediately re-wrote his last will and testament. On November 27th, 1895 he donated his sizable $9 million dollar fortune to establish one of the most coveted awards in the world. Alfred Nobel created the Nobel Peace Prize. He made a decision to re-write the narrative of his life. The Swedish inventor would no longer be knows as “the merchant of death, but rather the awarder of peace and life!”
Few of us have the opportunity to truly read the finished copy of our obituary, but in truth, it is being written each and every day. For Alfred, November 27, 1888 was the day where he realized he needed to change the narrative of his life.
Easter allows us to switch the narrative of our lives from death to life. Jesus’ death on the cross made both life, abundant life and eternal life possible for us; and like Alfred Nobel, a decision must be made.
The theologian John Stott said, “Before we can begin to see what Jesus did on the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.” To change the narrative of a life, it’s necessary to understand that we, as sons and daughters of Adam, have also been merchants of death. To rewrite the script of our lives and become sons and daughters of life and peace, all we need to do is acknowledge, in humility, the course of our lives and receive the life found in Christ through the cross.
Like Alfred Nobel, the narrative of our lives can go from death to life. May you, this Easter, receive the life and peace found only in Christ Jesus. Amen!