Death and Resurrection
Dying is messy. Most people don’t manage to die with their hair styled or tidily in their best suit and tie. Looking good isn’t what death is about.
Dying is often painful, both emotionally and physically. Even those, who find peace from acceptance or joy from a sense of God’s loving presence, struggle before getting to that point. Dying isn’t comfortable.
Dying is not a social event. It sometimes brings feelings of rejection, because some of our family and friends aren’t ready to face the reality of death, so they may get very busy elsewhere.
Dying is scary and lonely. Only a few have lived to tell about it. And though our loved ones may hold our hand, we know we must go alone.
Dying is an experience of total helplessness. No matter how rich or competent or powerful we are in life, dying wipes out the last illusion that we are in control.
Dying is the final cross. Not one we carry, but one we hang on, suspended between heaven and earth wondering if we’ve been abandoned on both sides.
Yet dying is the doorway to life. It’s a very narrow gate and it’s the only gate out.
The true Christian life (not the insurance game or the private club versions) is a series of deaths and resurrections that prepare us for that final one.
Deaths and resurrections such as:
Letting go of our need to look good by hiding behind masks: becoming free to be our truest and fullest self.
Letting go of our illusion of security from belonging to the right group: finding brothers and sisters where we never thought to look.
Letting go of our anesthetic of choice; work, competition, television, twitter, legalism, consumerism, food, sex, alcohol: by allowing ourselves to feel deeply the fears and sorrows of our lives, becoming capable of joy and love.
Letting go of our dependency on others: parents, spouses, friends, or anyone else for validation; recognizing the Spirit of God within our own hearts.
Letting go of needing talents, ministries, and achievements to feel valuable: finding inner peace from the unconditional love of God expressed in Jesus.
Letting go of everything as Jesus did:
“Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.” John 12:24-26
So, this is where it both ends and begins for us, on the cross with Jesus, being taken by Him through the doorway of death to eternal life.