Sometimes death whispers down fluorescent lit hallways that smell like antiseptic and medicine. At other times it arrives unexpectedly, ripping through a young life that held such promise. Some hear a diagnosis and walk hand and hand together with death, for years that follow, or sometimes it is the quietly closing of eyes that never open again. I hate death. I hate everything about it. I hate the acts of dying, whether it lasts a second or lingers for longer. It is hard and unfair…..and it hurts. It hurts not just the one that is dying, but to all those who love that individual. Death comes, when it chooses. None of us know when that moment might be. It could be today, or next month, or 50 years from now. We try not to think about it. No one wants to live in the shadow of the cold. The gray. The unknown.
I’ve faced the loss that death incurs, in my own life…on more than one occasion. My husband and I facilitate a GriefShare class, to help others that are on this journey. We have met people who have lost parents, children, spouses and siblings. I’ve looked into the faces of these individuals and cried with them. Like I said, I hate death.
Over two thousand years ago, a baby was born into humble surroundings. His newborn cries were mingled with the sounds of animals in the stable. His parents knew who He was, but probably did not, could not, fully comprehend what His birth meant. This tiny infant that Mary had delivered, was born to die. God in human flesh, came from the glories of heaven, to this broken world. He walked this earth, before He walked to the cross. He brought the dead back to life with just the sound of His voice, but chose to give Himself up for us all and stay on that cross until it was finished.
Christmas had come full circle. The wonder of Jesus birth is forever intertwined with the sacrifice of His death and glory of His resurrection.
Death…. none of us will escape it, but because of Christ, we don’t have to fear it.
…Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”… John 11: 24-26
…Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection… Romans 6:3-5
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24