COMMENTARY: Life's Ultimate Deadline!

Sunday, November 13, 2016 |  Charles Gardner

A British author has ably demonstrated how Moses and the Prophets spoke of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. And he does so while explaining how the carpenter from Galilee holds the answer to man’s greatest problem – what happens when we die.

As a journalist of more than 40 years, I am well used to deadlines. But I take my hat off to fellow writer Richard Roe for daring to tackle the ultimate deadline. In his excellent book, Beyond the Final Curtain (Zaccmedia), he addresses an issue most of us try all our lives to avoid.

It may well be a taboo subject not suited to livening up a party, but it’s not as morbid as it sounds, and is both well written and hugely insightful.

Basically, his thesis is that the resurrection of Jesus has dealt with man’s greatest enemy, if only we will have the sense – and humility – to believe and act upon it. As Richard puts it, “Jesus is God’s solution to the problem of death; He has conquered death.”

But at the same time the author pulls no punches, asserting that Jesus is the only way to heaven and the only means of avoiding hell.

His reasoning is intelligent, sound and practical, but essentially biblical, concluding that the Word of God – the source of all wisdom and knowledge, and authenticated by Jesus himself – holds the key to the hereafter. And the Bible says that all of us are serving a ‘life sentence’ of being ‘enslaved’ by our fear of death (Hebrews 2.15).

When faced with a deadline to complete a task, our minds become focused and we won’t rest until it is finished. Yet with a deadline we will certainly all face sooner or later, we pretend it will never happen and thus refuse to face the inevitable questions of life and death.

Endorsed by famous preacher R T Kendall, the book is a stirring challenge to that mindset. But it’s also a clear and beautiful presentation of the gospel that tells us Jesus has paid the price for our sins, which would otherwise condemn us to everlasting torment.

And for those familiar with the Jewish Tenach (what Christians call the Old Testament), the author ably demonstrates how so many well-known Bible passages point to the role of their future Messiah, so perfectly fulfilled in Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus).

For example, the Passover lamb of Exodus whose blood protected the Israelites and set them free from slavery in Egypt, foreshadowed the crucifixion of Jesus, the ultimate Passover Lamb, who freed us from slavery to sin.

In the same way the bronze serpent Moses raised on a pole for those suffering snake-bite foreshadowed the ‘healing’ of our sin and sickness by Jesus, for “by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53.5).

Another such sign cited by the author (and Jesus himself – see Luke 11.29-32) is the prophet Jonah, who was in the belly of a whale for three days before being spewed up on a beach. As with Jonah, Jesus died and was buried before being raised to life after three days. And in his gospel, the Apostle John records Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine, which the author asserts as proof enough that he is the God of creation, the Lord of the Universe to whom Jews pray every Sabbath.

This miracle also indicates that, when you put your trust in Jesus, life will taste sweeter. And if you read the account in John chapter 2 (verses 1-12), you will see how the Messiah saves the best wine till last!

Just taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34.8)


Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com

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