Today’s Challenges: Desensitized to the cross…


I ran across a short story I had saved several years ago that goes like this: A lady on a commuter train was reading a newspaper article about life and death statistics. Fascinated, she turned to the man next to her and said, “Did you know that every time I breathe seven people die?” “Really!?” He said, “Have you tried mouthwash?”

OK, I know that is a real groaner, but there is a lesson to be learned for us today. Globally there is an average of 151,600 people who die each day which translates into 105 deaths per minute. We average 16 breathes per minutes, so that means 7 people die in the time it takes for us to take one breath.

How does that translate into information that touches our world? Well, here we are at “Easter time,” once again. People have been focusing on the cross of Christ, but hopefully they have been more focused upon his resurrection. That’s what our hope is based upon isn’t it?

As I thought about the “statistics” regarding death in our world, I began to think about the ramifications for those who live in our world. I did a search and found that from 2006 till now there have been 58,139,921,287 deaths portrayed in movies. Now, some would say that movies do not “desensitize” people to death, murder or killing in general, but I would not agree with that assessment. I think movies have a tremendous influence over people, especially young people. I believe that they learn that death is a thing to be taken lightly, because life really has no value.

So what’s my point? As Christians we are people of the risen savior, who understand the terrible nature of the cross and Jesus’ death upon it. If you have ever seen the movie “The passion of Christ”, you have some idea of the cruelty of His death. Yet, when you talk to some of our world about Jesus’ death, they don’t get terribly emotional. They don’t seem very affected by this sacrifice do they? I believe it is partly because of the influence of our entertainment industry and the desensitizing nature of the movies they produce.

There is one scripture that comes to mind that relates to this problem. In Psalm 101:3 the writer says: “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes.” It’s really a matter of choice isn’t it? We choose to go to certain movies. We choose to watch certain television programs. We have control over where we go as well as what we do and what we watch. I have been known to walk out of a movie before, (yes, even though I paid of the ticket). We have often turned off television programs because we made a choice not to set something wicked before our eyes or hear something wicked with our ears.

I really believe that until we understand the true nature of Jesus’ death upon the cross we will never really appreciate His resurrection from the dead. Both are part of God’s plan for the atonement for our sin and the joining Jesus in the resurrection unto life eternal. That is what the Gospel message is truly about! That is where we find the power to go on in a sin filled world. As Christians we understand what God did for us and because of that we have no problem giving our lives for Him. (At least it should be that way.)

Christ’s message to us was to go into the world and tell the message of the Gospel. Why? Because 7 people die every time you take a breathe… and most of them never having heard or never really believing the story of the cross and the resurrection of our Savior. Perhaps it’s time we begin telling the story between breaths… what do you think?

By Russ Lawson

Today’s Challenges

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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