Wild Bill Longley evidently lived up to his name. Longley, according to tales
of the Old West, killed 32 people. Recently his grave was dug to see if he was
really in the casket. Longley had been called the man who cheated death. Some
had speculated that the casket was filled with rocks. It wasn’t, and the body’s
DNA matched Longley’s descendents.
How did he become a legend? On one occasion Longley was hanged by vigilantes
who then started shooting at him. Instead of killing him, the bullets severed
the rope, and he escaped. On another occasion, a sheriff tried to hang him, but
made the rope too long and Wild Bill dropped to his feet on the ground. But he
didn’t cheat death in the end, and neither will we.
His body is in a casket and so will ours be someday. There is no way to cheat
death, but we can defeat it. Through Christ we can move from death to a larger
Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.