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April 27, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | April 27

Echoing in Eternity


All these people were still living by faith when they died. … Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.  Hebrews 11:13,16


The assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC led to the ascension of the first Roman emperor, his hand-picked successor and grand-nephew, known as Octavian. Rome flourished under the “golden age” of the early emperors, culminating with the reign of Marcus Aurelius, arguably Rome’s last great emperor. At the end of Marcus Aurelius’ illustrious reign, the Empire’s borders were secured, particularly in Germania along the boundary line of the Rhine. 


The iconic film Gladiator includes one of the best battle scenes ever filmed. In it, a frail Marcus Aurelius oversees his legions, who are led by beloved General Maximus Decimus Meridius, who has been charged with defeating the last unconquered band of Marcomanni. 


Maximus gathers the calvary in the woods to charge the Germans’ rear lines, and in one of the classic lines of the film, says, “What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” I remember watching the film in the theater and being haunted by that line afterward. What in my life will echo in eternity? What in yours? For Maximus and his fellow pagan equites, it was the legacy of strength and honor and heroism in the fields of Elysium. 


For men of God it raises critical questions: What is my legacy? What will I be remembered for? To frame the answer, it’s best to switch from the determining pronoun “what” to the interrogative pronoun “who.” Who is your legacy? Jesus. You might say, “Really? Is it that simple?” It is, because it’s about how much—or how little—your life reflects the light of the Son. The more you emulate Christ, the greater your legacy will be.


Remember as a kid laying on stones or cement after a hot summer day? The sun may have set, but the surface was still warm. The hotter the day, the longer the warmth lingered on the stones. That’s true for legacy: The more we’ve given our life over to Christ, the more He radiates through us, even after we are gone—through our children (biological and spiritual), and through our thoughts and actions here on Earth. Just as the light of stars long dead twinkle in the night sky, the light of our witness and testimony will echo through our generations. 


Father, show me how to leave a legacy that echoes in eternity.


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