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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Bury your old man

The story is told of a lady who lived in the Deep South and had a close relationship with her childhood sweetheart. She fell in love with him and ultimately married him. Their life together was not perfect, but it was rewarding. There was faithfulness, and there were times of joy.

This continued for years until he was suddenly taken from her side by a heart attack. Not being able to part with him visibly, she decided to have him embalmed, put in a chair, sealed up in a glass case, and placed immediately inside the front door of their large plantation home.

Every time she walked through the door, she smiled, "Hi, John, how are you?" Then she would walk right up the stairs. Things rocked along as normally as possible month after month. There he sat day after day as she acknowledged his presence with a smile and friendly wave.

A year or so later, she decided to take a lengthy trip to Europe. It was a delightful change of scenery. While in Europe, she met a fine American gentleman who was also vacationing over there. He swept her off her feet. After a whirlwind romance, they got married and honeymooned all over Europe. She said nothing about John back on the farm.

Finally, they traveled together back to the States. Driving up the winding road to her home, her new husband decided, This is my moment to lift my bride over the threshold and to carry her back into her home, this wonderful place where we'll live together forever. He picked her up, bumped the door open with his hip, and walked right in. He almost dropped his bride on the floor!

"Who is this?"

"Well, that is John. He was my old man from-"

"He is history; he's dead!"

The new husband immediately dug a big hole and buried her former old man in it, case and all.

That's precisely what Christ has done! However, without realizing the effect, many Christians put the old man in a case and greet him every morning and cater to him every day of their lives. We live as though our "old man" is alive, even though we are dead to him. He has no right to be in our conscious thinking. We serve a new Master who has walked us across the threshold, who has awakened us to new life, new love, a new relationship, and an entirely different future.

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