dying into life
Jesus did not come to keep us from dying. Instead, He came to show us how to find life through death. Through Him death and suffering become servants instead of enemies.
Blink And You’ll Miss It
Our third paradox and maybe by now no one is shocked. It seems the Bible is full of them. This last one is a direct progression from our previous post. How does life come out of death? We are NOT talking about the cycle of life or about how the death of one thing provides the fertilizer for others. We are NOT talking about how a seed has to die before it produces life
What we are talking about here is a path that God carved out specially for us who suffer and die. Just like He went before Israel 3 days to make the way
The Burden That Gives Rest
. What a strange thing to say! Come and buy without cost? He tells us to come to him if we are tired of carrying our burden but He doesn’t take the burden away. No! Instead, He takes away the heavy burden and gives us a lighter one. Away from all those things that drive you and enslave, He asks you to come. But so that you never have to serve again? No! He has an easier yoke for you. He has a Humble and Lowly Master for you to serve.
What an oddity. Every freedom fighter offers you freedom from tyranny. Jesus did NOT come to just to give you freedom from tyranny. He has come to offer you the opportunity to submit to and serve The King. He says that through this service and submission to Him, you will find rest. He says that by carrying His burden and by taking His yoke, you will have rest. Remember how Adam and Eve were cursed so that work and child bearing became sources of suffering
Instead, Jesus offers something better than Esther. He offers to show us how to turn the curse into a blessing. He says that if we submit to Him, He will show us how to find honey in the lion, and how to find rest through burden. The trick He says, is carrying His burden and bearing His yoke. The trick is in submitting to His Master
You have to work. You have to toil. You have to suffer. But if you work under God’s direction, if you toil under God’s orders, if you suffer with God even as God through Jesus suffers with you then Jesus promises that you will find rest. Not only in heaven but beginning here on earth. Do you believe Him? Will you go to Him and do what He says?
The Death That Brings Life
If we have decided to become servants of Jesus then we should remind ourselves of some of His words
But we often approach Jesus as if there will be no suffering and no death. We have the delusion that any difficulty in life or anything that looks like it will kill us is evil. But so far, we have seen that this is not so. Resurrection comes … but only after death. Just as Jesus came how to show how to suffer in to rest, He also came to show us how to die into life. Jesus doesn’t just remove suffering and death. There is some suffering and some death He immediately undoes through miracles.
But Jesus demonstrates His Power by doing something more incredible. He makes death reverse itself into life. Paul did not ask “Where is death?” No, Paul asked death, “Where is your sting?”