Death and resurrection. It’s an interesting concept. I say it is interesting because it is a somewhat universal concept, woven like an abiding thread even among those who doubt the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
C.S. Lewis speaks in his book, “Mere Christianity,” of his belief that God gave to all peoples in the world what Lewis calls, “Good Dreams.” He believes, and I’m inclined to agree, that even the strangest religions out there have a glimmer of the truth tucked away in them. It’s as though, at the heart of every human, there is a un-awakened seed of the truth of God and His plan for salvation.
Take, as an example, the concept of reincarnation. As a Christian, I know this is completely false, yet I can see that there is a hope hidden embedded there. I believe it is the hope that death is not the end, that we can eventually be better than we are, and that there is some mysterious connection between death and resurrection and a way to salvation. And, lo and behold, by Jesus Christ, I know that death is not the end, that He desires to perfect me and that He died and rose in my place that I might be saved.
Even as I live my life, I hope for daily reincarnation. (Bear with me – I’m not going off the deep end!) I daily hope to die to myself and be raised again – better and closer to looking like Jesus than I did yesterday. I long for improvement and becoming a clearer reflection of the Lord that those around me may see Him, not just me.
When my Grandmother was dying in hospice, we were given information on the dying process. Though it was many years ago, some of that information has been held in my heart. Primarily I recall that we were told that as a person approaches death, they begin to feel that their body is just a weight that they desire to lay aside, like an old heavy garment to be shed. What a beautiful picture and how it points to the truth that there is something inside us that will live on forever after this body is dead.
I believe we can also have this feeling in a spiritual sense. I’m done with this flesh and desire deeply to let it go, to shake it off like a heavy, grimy outer wrapping. I want the resurrection that is awaiting me. The stench of my own flesh is increasingly repulsive and I’m longing to shed it like an old cocoon.
I can understand why the Apostle Paul said, “I die daily.” I thought I took up my cross and laid down my life a long time ago! But as long as I’m alive, it never ends. This daily death is heavily on my heart and mind at this time of year, as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. I am committed anew to daily death and the belief that my Resurrected Lord will resurrect me a little closer to His glory.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11