On Death and Dying Differently

Jesus uppväcker Lazarus, målning av Karl Isaks...

Lazarus, alive and well.

Judas Hangs Himself

Judas hung himself.

Did you ever stop to think about just how many friends Jesus had while He was here on earth? He probably had a lot. Crowds followed Him, He had enough disciples that the religious authorities considered Him a threat, there were no doubt childhood friends and playmates, probably other friends that did business with Him as a carpenter, and in the end it wasn’t everyone who turned against Him. Remember those women who followed Him on the Via Dolorosa, crying after Him? So He had friends. But have you ever counted up just how many folks in the New Testament are referred to directly as His friends? It makes for an interesting study. There were only two ..

John 11:11

11 These things he said; and after that he said to them: Lazarus our friend sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.

Matthew 26:50And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.

When God created humanity He intended for us to live with Him forever. We weren’t made to die, no one was, it wasn’t a part of our original nature. Death is the result of the Fall, the penalty of Original Sin passed down as a human and not Divine inheritance. Now everyone dies. One way or another. And “one way or another” brings us back to the friends of Jesus …

Lazarus died. His death provides us with a good example, or I should say a beautiful type of metaphor or allegory. As one of God’s faithful he died in this life, he died to self, he died to this life, and the result was that he lived.

Judas died. He provides another example. As someone who could’ve been one of God’s faithful but refused he lived this life, he lived for this life, he lived for self, and the result was that he died.

They were both friends of Jesus. Jesus Himself called them His friends. Both were loved by Him, both were cared for by Him. Both were created by Him. Both lived, both died. One got the sequence right, the other got it wrong. The first died and then lived. The other lived and then died.

God doesn’t see things the way we do. Having sight, real sight, means learning to see. Not the seeing that we’re taught from birth by the world. But the sight we’re taught from re-birth by God. When we see things His way we’ll not only get the sequence right, we’ll understand it also. At least in part. We don’t need to know it all. We can’t know it all anyway, only He can do that. But we can know and see and understand enough, by His grace, that we’ll willingly die to earthly life so that we can live the Heavenly life, rather than live for this earthly life and so die to a Heavenly afterlife.

Death and dying come to all. Death and dying aren’t the point. The point is to do this, death and dying, differently. “Differently” being His sequence and not ours.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9.


One Comment

  1. For some reason the spacing doesn’t want to work correctly when I post. I’ve been trying to correct it but so far without much luck. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Or, just keep scrolling. 😉

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