On July 6th 2001 Annie and I purchased our first insurance policy. The lack of excitement levels we experienced that day were only surpassed by what I like to call, the ‘We-Are-Not-Entirely-Sure-Why-We-Have-To-Have-This’ indicator. But we were assured by the financial advisors that without it our mortgage application would suffer somewhat. Giddy with the excitement of being one month away from getting married, we nodded and signed on the dotted lines. A week or so later, we received the details of our policy in the post. 10 years on and I still have the impressive glossy brochure in a box file.
This was the first of a small number of such policies and I noticed that the brochures all had at least one thing in common: all of them were adorned with people smiling excessively. This particular policy featured a full-cover photo of a young couple and their children, sat in a cornfield on a summers day, laughing and presumably enjoying a day off from their demanding day jobs in the modelling industry. If you couldn’t read or couldn’t be bothered to read all the documentation inside the brochure then the picture summarised the policy for you. A picture paints a thousand words but photos like these on brochures like these could write it out on a post-it note: ‘Because money makes you happy.’ There could have been a oncoming combine harvester in that cornfield, but they were insured, what else could matter?
Insurance policies seem so inviting from the outset but – as some of us may have already experienced – when life and circumstances demand that your insurance policy paints the promised glossy smile on our faces, it might not always be without a few scars alongside or instead of. When that time comes you are likely to be referred to what lurks beneath the covers in gradually decreasing sizes of print. 10 years later, we recently experienced the very same with our inaugural insurance policy.
This article isn’t meant to be a bash at insurance companies. We still have a couple of policies running at the request of our mortgage lender! It’s not a bitter attack on the financial sector. I am not going to be occupying Wall Street or the LSE (that would require camping and I hate camping at the best times!).
I am learning that as followers of Jesus, the greater alternative to protesting is professing.
If Annie and I had placed our hope and happiness in the insurance policies of this world, whether or not they paid out and delivered, I can assure you that we would most likely be any combination of frustrated, unhappy, angry, disgruntled, bitter, panicked, disappointed, upset, uncertain, unsettled, vulnerable, unprotected. Why? Because the things of this world cannot make you ultimately happy. Whether they are insurance policies, money or some other material thing.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. – 1 John 2:15-17
Our joy and peace remains vibrant and unscathed, our outlook bright and hopeful, because we have life and death assurance which is signed in the blood of Jesus the Son of God, sealed by the presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives who comforts us and assures us by delivering strength, peace, joy and hope of the things to come.
We recently called up the company behind our inaugural insurance policy to end it. When I spoke to them about cancelling, they warned me that if I was to cease paying the premiums, I would forfeit any protection and coverage. Shortly after we received something else in the post from them. This time no glossy pictures. No corny photos of deliriously happy couples. Just a few words on a piece of a4:
“If we can be of any further assistance then please do not hesitate to contact us…Yours sincerely….”
The great thing about our assurance through Jesus is that everything has been paid for in full and therefore we are eternally protected and assured!
Jesus did not simply claim to know the way to God, promising eternal benefits to all those who would sign up to His religious policies and follow them to the letter. There would be nothing unique about that. He would simply be one among thousands of others who have proclaimed the same right up until the point that the grave swallowed them up whole. Nothing more than an influential carcass.
Friends and visitors, it is a unique fact of history: Jesus has faced and conquered death.
On the cross Jesus did something unique in the history of the world. He eternally dealt with the root cause of everything an insurance policy on this earth merely attempts to temporarily distract us from. Life insurance cannot save you from dying. Health insurance cannot spare you from sickness and suffering. You might have the best policies money can buy but you personally cannot afford the life and death assurance that God offers you through Jesus His Son.
All the money in the world couldn’t buy you one second of the peace that God freely offers you as a gift through His Son, Jesus.
On the cross Jesus dealt with the root cause of death and suffering by dealing with sin. He dealt with my sin and Annie’s sin. On the cross, on our behalf, He paid in full the cost of life and death assurance. His empty tomb, His physical resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of God, His Spirit in our lives gives us unspeakable joy right now and complete assurance that one day, beyond the grave, we will be with Him for eternity, which is better by far than the sum of all the best days that life on this earth could possibly offer.
And because of that fact, no matter what happens, nothing can rob us of our joy in this life and our assurance of the one to come.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38,39
We may never have met you but both Annie and I hope that you would ask the question of yourself. Do you have life and death assurance? We are not talking about insurance. We are not even talking about insurance through religion. We are talking about the assurance that comes through knowing that your sins have been forgiven through Jesus the Son of God who is alive today and walks with you today. He speaks today. He acts today. He protects today. He loves and saves today.
…if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
Yours sincerely and blessedly assured because Jesus is alive!