[Sunday's Coming will be periodic thoughts that come out of my study and preparation for the upcoming Sunday's teaching]
I worked in a Funeral Home for two years while I was going through seminary. And one of the things I noticed about people when it came to death was it was always an uncomfortable experience. It wasn't just the loss and grief that I observed, it was the genuine discomfort that came when people had to confront what they feared the most.
Somehow, deep within the human psyche there's this fear of seeing our own mortality. Or maybe better, there's this fear of not only losing control but losing everything that you are in the blink of an eye.
What's so amazing to me then, is that in the Kingdom of God, death becomes the pathway to life. In fact, when we read through the Gospels, and particularly focus in on the passion narratives (those passages that tell us about the final weeks of Jesus' life and death) we find that Jesus walks right into death with all of its suffering, pain and horror.
He takes on his shoulders, not just humanity's sin, but the fullness of evil in all of its capacities. You might say, he walked right into death. But the scriptures tell us, that it was because of his death that the victory was won. Evil was conquered. Sin was dealt with. And Satan was undone.
All that opened the way for the resurrection. New creation was now on its way. The early church testified to this--it was his life, death and resurrection that they professed. That was the Good News.
Jesus' death led to life. Not just His life--but yours' and mine as well.
Yet here's the thing. In God's economy the very thing we fear the most, of losing it all, is the very path that we must take.
Faith in Jesus Christ is nothing less than losing it all.
And yet, that faith, that act of death by each of us, opens the door to more than we could ever know.
This is the path we all must take. This is how we follow Jesus.
Into the death that leads to life.