Death and Taxes

If you’ve looked at the calendar lately, you probably noticed that we’re nearing the middle of the month of April. Thats right, next Thursday, April 15, is the dreaded annual deadline for filing your tax returns, if you haven’t done so already.
I think it was Benjamin Franklin who first said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. This time of year we’re reminded how certain taxes really are. The friendly folks at the Internal Revenue Service are pretty serious about collecting their cut of our hard-earned wages to fund our blessed government’s endeavors.
So, the tax man cometh. Perhaps you have heard of the new simple tax form that some have suggested. At the top of the form you write your name and Social Security number. Then there are two lines with the simplest of instructions: How much did you make? and Send it to us.
For those last minutes filers, here are a few things you cannot do when it comes time to file your taxes. You cannot write off last year’s tax as a bad investment. You cannot claim depreciation on your wife and children. You cannot deduct health club dues as a total loss. And the IRS won’t buy the idea that if you spend it before you earn it, it’s not really income.
Really, there’s not much you can do about taxes (short of having six children!) but pay them. Even Jesus taught that we are to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But then again, we can also vote to determine who our Caesar will be, depending upon how much he or she wants to tax us. That’s a message for another day.
The good news of this season is that old Ben Franklin wasn’t as wise as he thought he was. Taxes may be certain, but death? Not so much. For believers in Christ, we have hope when it comes to matters of life and death. That’s what last Sunday’s Easter celebration reminded us.
When Jesus rose from the grave He defeated death–not just for Himself, but for all of us who know Him. That truth from Scripture doesn’t just apply on Easter Sunday; we live with the promise of the hope of the resurrection every day of the year.
So regardless of your standing with the IRS, the tomb is empty, and your life doesn’t have to be! May that truth affect how you live your life this week, even if you still have to do your taxes.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
–Pastor Ken