Carrie Fisher died today. Celebrity deaths have never had an impact on me. Not even Leonard Nimoy’s which is odd considering that I love Star Trek as much as Star Wars. (Yes, it is possible.) 2016 was a big year for celebrity deaths, and people all over the globe mourn for total strangers. Millions of people die every day, and in most cases only dozens of family and friends mourn for them individually. No single death is more or less important than another, and no amount of mourning is more or less significant than another. But for some reason Carrie Fisher’s death got to me and it got me thinking; why did her death effect me so? There are lots of reasons why death sucks. But I think that one of the reasons that death sucks is because something stops, then we suddenly feel what we had all at once, and now its gone. That thing, is impact,
What is impact?
If you have lost a loved one, or one you loved (like a celeb), you know what impact is. It’s memories. It’s experiences. It’s that there will be no more of them, and that your connection to meaningful moments in time is now gone. Seeing Star Wars in 1977 it actually one of my first memories to which I can point, which means Carrie is a part of my first memory. I have loved Star Wars my whole life. Even though I never knew her, she had an impact. I also enjoyed the many other movie’s she was in. I particularly enjoyed her cameo in Austin Powers as the group therapist. While I can relive all of these moments with the click of a button, there will be no more new ones, and we feel that loss.
When family members and friends that you were close to die, our minds immediately go back to shared experiences and formative moments. Trips to the hospital, family vacations, shared victories and losses, these all make an impact on us. When that someone dies all of those come flooding in at once. We feel all of them at once. Now there will be no more of them and we feel that loss.
Why remembering death is important
There is one exception to this rule. There is one seeming contradiction. Jesus. Jesus had an impact while He was alive. Jesus death had a profound impact. Then He rose again to impact His world still more. His life, death, and life-again continue to have an impact on millions of people who have died, who are alive now, who will yet live, and who will live forever more. The difference between celebrity impact and Jesus impact is that Jesus’ impact goes beyond His death as well as our own. Because He is alive (again) He can still impact us. We can still have shared experiences formative moments with Him.
Earlier I said that when someone dies, all of that life impact comes flooding back. We relive it. While they are alive we take it for granted most of the time. This happens with Jesus too. Yeah, I’m a Christian. Yeah, I’m saved. Yeah, I’m forgiven and have a new life. Pass the chips.
When we take the time on a regular basis to remember Jesus’ death in our place for our sins, the reality and magnitude of that refreshes our love for Jesus. This is why its important to remember Jesus’s death, as well as His birth and resurrection. This is why Jesus said that we are to die daily, that we are to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. It is how we remember His impact on our lives and what it can be through our lives.
Deaths don’t end with the turn of the calendar
Carrie died. Mark is going to die. Harrison is going to die. Our parents are going to die. Sting is going to die. Seal is going to die. Our friends and family are going to die.
[bctt tweet=”The irony as that victory over death came through death, then resurrection.” username=”corbystephens”]
Don’t blame the year. Blame death. There is more coming next year. However, there is a time coming when death will no longer have rule over this world. The irony as that victory over death came through death, then resurrection. There is only one way to experience this victory one a regular basis; through Jesus.
[reminder]What can you add into your daily rhythm to remember the impact of Jesus in your life?[/reminder]