It Is Not Death To Die
Over the past couple months, I’ve been hit with the reality of death because of the sudden nature of it in a couple of friend’s lives (read another post here). I’ve cried and my heart has ached for those who are left in the trenches of this earth while a family member has been taken away.
Questions like: “Why?!” or “God, couldn’t You have done things another way?” have come to my mind. I realize that death is a part of the fall, and it causes me to ponder. I also want to follow through on the challenge from James 1:3 to ensure that joy, in all of its fullness, is coming along side of me – even in the darker moments of life.
There are a few things that I am learning: a) death is an obvious picture of the reality and consequences of humanity’s fall into sin and b) the hope we can have in the Savior even in the face of death. Here are a few ways in which I see a picture of humanity’s fall into sin in the face of death.
- It takes over – without warning. The fall into death through sin was the same. We know that there was process into buying into the lie of Satan, but when sin was actually committed – experiencing the taste of spiritual death – Adam and Eve were taken by surprise by the extent of what “death” meant.
- It takes away potential joy. If you have lost someone you love, you realize that you now no longer have moments with them to look forward to. The same with sin. Sin cost humanity real, deep and abiding joy.
- It is painful. Many times, death is a painful process for the person who died. Some are graced with simply falling asleep. Others experience much pain. With sin, it was (and still is) a painful death.
- It has the power to be destructive in other’s lives. The death of a loved one is a trial, and like all trials, we can be tempted to give up and give in (Jas. 1:12-18). Unfortunately, families have broken because of loved one who have died. With sin, it has a destructive nature, working to cause people to give up and die in their relationship with God – as happened with Adam.
- It can produce fear and anxiety. This relates to the previous point. When someone dies, we can become fearful in a myriad of ways – thinking someone else will die, thinking we cannot make it through, thinking God cannot be trusted. As a result, we do not seek to get involved in people’s lives, but instead we hide, in our fig leaves, from God and from each other.
It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears
(Chorus) O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die
It is not death to fling
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing
To live among the just
It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years
To praise You evermore
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI) Original words by Henri Malan (1787–1864). Translated by George Bethune (1847). Music, chorus, and alternate words by Bob Kauflin