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 life.


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Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.