Hikers in California’s Sierra Mountains are surprised to encounter 10-foot-high fences with barbed wire stretched around the top. What do they see inside the fence-surrounded enclosures? Some vital communication equipment like a radio tower? No, they see only a few gnarled trees, maybe just a twisted stump with a few needles.

A sign reads: DO NOT ENTER. BRISTLECONE PINE PROTECTION ZONE. PLEASE PROTECT THESE TREES. They are the oldest living things on earth.

Pamphlets explain that these bristlecone pines were flourishing when Jesus walked on earth, and that the oldest were seedlings at the time of the Exodus from Egypt.

Eventually, though, regardless of how carefully they are protected, those trees will die. They are not destined to live forever. But Christians have the certainty of everlasting life. To be sure, our bodies will die. Yet by God’s grace and power, our souls will never perish. Our bodies will be raised up and, as Paul said, be changed from mortal to immortal (1 Cor. 15:53).

We are awed by the longevity of the bristlecone pines. How much more awesome is eternal life through Christ. We who believe in Him will live forever!