Life. . .a heartbeat, a breath, a cry. A baby, alive in its mother’s womb, born of its mother; the seed of two people coming together. Life begins before we enter this earth.
Death. . .no more heartbeat, no more breathing, no more sound. A person’s life ends on earth in a moment.
The space in between. . .we call the process of minutes passed “life”, but I think we should call it living instead.
Just recently, the grandmother of one of my best friends ended her living, found her death, and met her Jesus. Today, I received an e-mail that a sweet friend, prayer warrior, ministry partner, and more ended her living, found her death, and met her Jesus also. In the wake of Joan’s (the grandmother of my friend)death I spent a lot of my time in the Word looking at the truths about life and death. Hearing about Lyn’s (my friend) death today, I have revisited many of those things and wanted to share their truths, challenges, and convictions.
Life. Death. Living.
Death tends to bring our living into perspective. We often think a lot about a person’s living; we call it their legacy. Funerals are full of celebrations for the wonderful memories we have built with the person. People talk about the qualities and characteristics of the person. Family members tell funny stories and reminisce about favorite foods, meals, memories, songs, etc. of the person. These are usually things we take little notice of (intentionally) while the person is here with us and has “life” in their bodies but can recall in a moment when we think about them after they have died.
Life is often said, especially at birth, to be a miracle. Birth to us is the “miracle of life”. We talk of its beauty and depth. It makes us so happy to see life, to hold life, to be alive. . .but this life, since it’s fracture in Genesis 3:6, is hideous. It is a simple truth that life is hideous. Life is ugly, hopeless, and empty. It is replete with darkness and it ends in death. With the seeming cynicism aside, look at the facts.
Genesis 1:1 - God CREATED
Genesis 1:11 - Vegetation produced
Genesis 1:20, 24 - Animals brought forth
Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:4-25 - man and woman GIVEN LIFE
Genesis 2:9, 15-17 - warned of; “for in the day you eat of [the tree], you shall surely DIE.”
Genesis 3:7 - their eyes were open
Genesis 3:19 - “to dust you shall return”
DEATH IS HIDEOUS
Genesis (and the rest of the Bible) is full of examples of the destructiveness of death. The death that occurs to what is alive. The dead are dead. Life is over. Death is always hideous. No part of it is beautiful. Living ENDS. Voids open. Grief strikes. Sorrow comes. Life is our door to love and relationship. Death damages that. Death is HIDEOUS.
YET THERE IS MORE
Life is beautiful, but our life is riddled with ugliness; sin, sickness, disaster, the list goes on. However, we have been given HOPE in this life. God could have left us in Eden to eat of the tree of life once we had eaten of the tree of good and evil. If He had, we would have been condemned to LIVING forever. Our living would have been full of disease, brokenness, hopelessness, defilement. We would have been severed, distant, removed forever! And a life like that, would have been exponentially more hideous than the death we know. Life like that is hell itself.
BUT GOD had a plan.
Jesus came to live that we might have a chance to live beautifully. He came that we might have the chance to live NEW. . .to live AFTER death! He came to heal the sick and save the lost. He came to GIVE LIFE to the death that in death they may prevail in life! This life He gives is not the life of fallen man in Eden. It is GAINED in death by choosing to accept His grace. He exchanged His perfect record for us, that we might taste and see that He is good and that we might embrace, by faith, to live for Him while we can.
The BEAUTY of death lies only in the HOPE of LIFE beyond. Certain hope that this death on earth - painful, hard, inevitable, sad - is NOT the end! For those of us that have embraced faith in Christ, death does not terrify for hope lies just beyond it. Asleep in flesh only to wake ALIVE in spirit. Alive in a far deeper capacity than before. Whole, complete, pure, righteous, obedient, submissive, worshipful, righteous (cf. Isaiah 9; 42:1-9; 43; 53; Romans 8:1-2, 12-39)
Living is forever abiding in the face of God Himself!
Partake of His suffering. . .the hideousness of His death, the beauty of His resurrection. . .Accept your purely justified record and embrace the hope that death is NOT the end! Be mindful that many face the same fate. Many are living a hideous life, bound to endure the hideousness of death. . .death without hope; death with an eternal punishment.
WE KNOW HOPE
WE KNOW LIFE
WE KNOW FREEDOM
WE KNOW BEAUTY
WE KNOW GOD
What will we do with our “space between” life and death? How will we live?
Let us shape our legacy now. Let us be intentional with it. Let us live our calling to WALK WORTHY. Think about who we are sharing and showing this TRUTH with. May we be intentional with it. May we not be so enamored with hope for ourselves that we ignore its heart and command: