A Window into Life in the Suburbs


"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Celebrating Death

Late this afternoon, I heard some sobering news pertaining to my mother-in-law's side of the family. Suffice to say, it's a cancer story but the good news is that this relative has trusted Christ to be his Saviour and is resting on that hope for his eternal rest.
My own mother died of cancer almost 2 years ago. In fact, next week will mark the second anniversary of her passing from this life to the next. She too, had great hope and great peace in her final months, believing that she was on her way to a better place.
At Easter time, we celebrate life... and so we should. Nonetheless at Easter, we also celebrate death because of Christ's death, we don't need to die for our own sins.
My pastor said something pertinent this morning that I believe is worth repeating. When we believe in the work of Christ on the cross, death is no longer something to be feared... it is a transition. Our bodies degenerate with time and one thing we can be sure of, death comes to all of us, whether we live till 20, 50 or 100. But when we become Christ followers, physical death allows us to shed our bodies, with the hope that we will receive the resurrection body in time to come.

However, the Bible also speaks of another kind of death -- a death to sin and a death to self.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, NIV)
By dying to ourselves, our desires, our self-centredness, we can then enjoy the life that Christ promises -- the freedom to do what is right, while having the power to resist sin. Dying to self must be done every single day as an active decision of those name Jesus as their Lord.
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?  (Luke 9:23-25, NIV)
I am excited about the resurrection because it demonstrates to us God's power to save. But before the resurrection was the crucifixion which demonstrated both God's justice and his mercy in his desire to save.


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.                 
          (Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)

3 comments:

  1. I am loving reading all the Easter posts. What a great perspective the cross of Jesus gives us on all things in this life - especially death. I hope next week isn't too hard for you as you remember your mum.

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  2. Death is interesting in that it's so painful to lose a loved one yet if we know they put their life in the hands of Jesus they have gone to a beautiful place.
    Beautiful post. xx

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  3. Thanks ladies.

    Julie: I miss her a lot but am at great peace because of where she's gone to.

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