Yes, I realize we are done with Easter. I realize we passed the Christian holiday that focuses on death. OK, so it doesn’t totally, but death is a major part of Easter. Why do I need to talk about such a gloomy topic, especially on a day where thunderstorms are racing across the east coast? Well, because faith is ultimately about experiencing life, however without death, we cannot have any part in Life.
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” — Romans 6:5–6
There will be death
We were born into imperfection and there is no way to take part in perfection unless that imperfection is put to death. The imperfection to which I’m referring is the part of our human nature that forsakes future joy for present amusement. The death, if we are continuously moving forward in a relationship with our Savior, is part and parcel with the undertaking. It is only necessary. However, it is just that: death.
“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” — Romans 5:18–21
Death is in our blood
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t believe in Original Sin. Frankly, that’s not my concern. However, I think any follower of Christ would note their tendencies to do the opposite oftentimes of what Jesus advised. OK, maybe that’s just me, but this tendency I’ve come to know as death. If Jesus is life, then the opposite must be death. And it’s this death that we need to put to death. It is death that we need to bury six feet under the ground. Because life has been waiting ever since it arose from the tomb.
Life after death
After death, we only have life to look forward to, friends. After death, all things are new, all things bright. I’m not promising there won’t be difficulty, oh there will be immense difficulty, but it will be a struggle because of our newfound freedom, not for it. Life after death is all the sweeter as we’ve tasted the bitterness and are able to appreciate life all the more. It’s because of the darkness of death that we have some perception the light of life. So, there must be death.
Ultimately, our goal is to experience life, but first we need death. We need it to purge us of that which holds us down, causes us to follow wayward paths all too often. We were made for more, so we must shed in some way the lesser. It is a struggle; it is painful. However, the reward is more than worth the sacrifice. Life is worth the cost and more. But, I can’t convince you on my own. You have to experience it for yourself. What do you say? Is there something you’re ready to let go of today? Is there something you’re ready to put to death this moment? I challenge you. What do you have to lose? Better yet, think of all you have to gain.