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Barclay: 3 kinds of immortality

There are different kinds of immortality. There is an immortality of fame. In Henry the Fifth, Shakespeare puts into the king's mouth a speech which promises an immortal memory if the Battle of Agincourt is won.

     "This story shall the good man tell his son;
     And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
     From this day to the ending of the world,
     But we in it shall be remembered."

Beyond a doubt Jesus did win such an immortality, for his name will never be forgotten.

There is an immortality of influence. Some men leave an effect in the world which cannot die. Sir Francis Drake was the greatest of English sailors and to this day the Royal Naval Barracks at Plymouth is called H. M. S. Drake so that there may always be sailors armed with "that crested and prevailing name." Beyond a doubt Jesus won an immortality of influence for his effect upon the world and the life of men cannot die.

Above all, there is an immortality of presence and of power. Jesus not only left an immortal name and influence; he is still alive and still active. He is not the one who was; he is the one who is.

-- William Barclay, Daily Study Bible: Acts of the Apostles (Westminster, 2003) p. 10.
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