Have you ever made something from scratch? Not out of a box but really from scratch! My MIL made a dish one time but inadvertently put salt instead of sugar in it! Needless to say it was a hot mess!
Without the proper main ingredients, recipes fall flat. Sure there are substitutes but sometimes there just isn’t a proper substitute. In the Christian life, I believe death is one of those. Our reaction to death of any kind shows how much we struggle with this subject. We are so thankful for Christ death on the cross, but when He asks us to die daily or suffer for His sake, we cringe.
There is no substitute for death in this life. Marred by sin, death was the only payment and Christ paid that price. As Christians, we are promised life after death but the process of physical death is inevitable. Yet we shy away from even the subject of death. Death, even for most Christians, is a feared mystery.
As we have just come out of Easter weekend, I am reminded Jesus has just been crucified. Today, two thousand years ago, he laid in the tomb. Two thousand years ago some folks were laughing and some cheering still. Some were still regaling the story over meals today in their own homes of how they put this “king” in His place. Roman soldiers wives are still doing their husbands laundry getting the blood of “the king of the Jews” off their garments. Someone somewhere two thousand years ago is looking at the garments he won in the gamble….and yet a debt is being paid for the payment for sin.
Death is a feared mystery but as we read scripture, death always has a purpose. Death is not the end. As we have recently celebrated Easter, we know it’s only the beginning. As we go through different “death” seasons, it would be wise to remember that death isn’t the end but often times the beginning to make way for a fresh move of God.
I Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
John 12:24 Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; but if it die, it brings about much fruit.
2 Corinthians 5:11 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Galatians 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
Death comes in numerous forms. These spattering of scriptures relating to death show us that! Death comes in physical, spiritual and relational forms. These play out in a plethora of ways from dying daily to self to walking alive in Him to our physical death. Death is all around us. Death is a concept most of us don’t sit very well with.
Grappling with death should be something we as Christian’s can do. It perhaps might be a good place to start in our dying daily to Him. A little hour session in the building with the steeple on Sunday won’t get you in a posture to die daily to self.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus crucified His flesh! He not only crucified His flesh to walk this earth untainted by sin but He crucified Himself on a cross to make a way for others. He laid down his life for a friend. I’m so thankful we see our Savior modeling this out this weekend. Death is not the end. It never is for the Christian. Death always has fruit.
How good are we at dying daily?
How well are crucifying our flesh?
How are we loving others and showing we have crucified our flesh?
How are we doing at humbling ourselves?
Are we quick to set a situation straight? Is that dying to self?
How are we daily processing and resisting sin?
How are we learning to walk alone to honor Him?
Are we finding time to find Sabbath rest?
This weekend I am reminded of the cost of death! I am also reminded of the need for death! I am grateful!
May I die daily for Him and Him alone.
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