Friday, June 1, 2018

Death Be Not Proud

Death is said to be natural. It isn't. I know everything dies--bugs, trees, ocelots, and us--it's part of life as we know it. The struggle to avoid death, and the ultimate succumbing to it, are foundational to the naturalistic explanation of how life develops and species emerge. Yet, deep inside my heart, I hate death and chafe against its imposition.

And it is an imposition. God, the Creator, by revelation and definition doesn't dieweaken, decay, rest, rust, or turn to dust. All creation is an expression of who and what he is, so death doesn't fit! How can it be baked in the cake? The fact is that it's not: it's imposed supernaturally, as a curse from God.

The natural, created state of human beings was everlasting life. Sin is what brought death and all of us alike suffer from it. I think that despite the marring of God's image within humankind due to the curse on sin, deep inside, most of us feel that same chafing at death's imposition that I do. It doesn't feel right that it all should end with a breath. No matter how long we've lived in its shadow, it still catches up to us too soon.

I wish there was some way to fight that which is never satisfied; to yell, "That's enough!" and have it cease. If translated into some strange, spiritual dimension into a spectator's seat observing the battle between the living and the Grim Reaper, I would hiss at his every advance. I would boo at all of his progress. On particularly tragic days
, like a crazed soccer fan, I'd rush the field hoping to beat him with my own big stick.

But wait a minute... I do have a big stick and in the here and now! 

God came from heaven, took on human form, hung on that stick, died on it, and then rose from the grave victorious over it. Then he handed the power of that stick to us. Jesus defanged the hated beast and unstung the bee, and handed the victory to you and me. For all who trust in Jesus and what he did on that stick, what was natural is natural again.

Existence never ends, even if life does. For those trusting in Christ neither existence nor life end. Still, we must all cross over that dark threshold and chafe at the loss we feel as we and those we love die. Yet, our grief is not like the world's, for in the midst we find an overwhelming, inexpressible joy knowing that the Lion has risen and death works backwards

So, my friend, restore the natural order that was intended by God through embracing interjected supernatural means--put all your hope in Christ and live forever!

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