We said goodbye to our dear friend, Harold, recently. He left this earth to take up residence in his eternal home.
In my saddened state, I’ve been thinking about death, as we are prone to do when someone we love passes from this earth.
Why is it so hard for us? Why does it rattle us to our very core? We all know death comes. Not one of us escape it.
Yes, I understand the separation and loss, the vast empty place the removal of someone who was so much a part of us creates. But it seems our struggle with death is even deeper than those things.
And it is. Because death was never in God’s original plan for us. He originally created man to live forever in a perfect body on a perfect earth. In the deep places of our being, we know we were never meant to taste death or experience it.
God told the first man and woman, “Don’t eat of that tree, if you do you will die.” He offered choice. And they chose to listen to the lie. They ate and the journey of life to death on this earth began (Read Genesis 2:15-3:24).
I used to wonder why I should suffer for what the first man and woman did. That was their choice not mine. It’s like the school teacher punishing the entire class for the behavior of one child.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
God hardly seemed fair in dolling out sin curses for generations to come when I never had a chance to decide whether I would take a bite from that fruit or not. If I was in The Garden I would have chosen to do the right thing.
But would I? Would any of us? Do we now?
How many times have I chosen my will over God’s, exalting my selfish desires over His, justifying what looks good to me over His perfect best? I wish I could say never, but the truthful answer is, I’ve lost count.
So God knew man would choose death. He knew it when he created us but did it anyway just as we take the risk of having a child with no guarantee of the outcome. It’s done from of a heart of love. We sacrifice for that child to have every advantage, every good choice and our heart breaks if they choose a path leading to their downfall, hurt or destruction.
But thank God, we are not left stranded, without hope, “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:19 & 21).
God came to our planet, took on a flesh suit and became like us to provide a way back to immortality and perfection. He became one of us to rescue us from eternal death. He made a way of escape from the ravages of sin and death through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus, who was nailed to a tree. For you. For me.
Death started and ended with a tree.
The choice returns, but the subtle injection of doubt continues through time. “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1). Do we believe in Jesus or do we continue to believe the lie, the illusion, the trick that we can be our own god, that we can still eat the fruit of a life apart from Him and suffer no consequences?
We all die physically and leave this planet, but believing the truth of who Christ is and what He did for us, assures us that is not the end, only a transition to a new life; the beautiful and glorious life we were always meant to have.
We’ve had to say goodbye to our friend for now, but hope comes in knowing I will see him again when it’s my turn to leave here. Maybe instead of goodbye, I should just say,
1 Corinthians 15:26 ” The last enemy to be abolished is death.’
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
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