“As death’s friend, priest invites us to the edge of our abyss, urging us to topple in.” Michael Dwinell, Fire Bearer
- Jesus tells Peter how he will die; Peter embraces his fate (John 21:19)
- Standing on the roof of the skyscraper, Morpheus invites Neo to abandon everything he knows in the face of certain death and leap across the impossible gap (The Matrix)
- Sitting at a kitchen table, Tyler Durden pours lye onto his own hand and tells himself he must endure the pain. Later, Tyler will reveal that to live a man must know he will die…and then releases the car’s steering wheel (Fight Club)
- Standing over Private Blithe’s foxhole, Lieutenant Spiers explains that the private is afraid because he has not surrendered to the inevitability of death (Band of Brothers)
You are going to die.
If your first reaction to that statement was, “How morbid!” or “That’s not very appropriate” then you are playing Satan’s shell game. Our enemy loves to keep us preoccupied with our careers, family lives, church obligations, and a myriad number of other distractions so we can avoid thinking about our fate. On those rare occasions when we are lucky enough to have a ‘near-death experience’ Satan’s blinders are temporarily removed from our eyes and we come to understand that death does not limit or cut short our lives; rather, life is made more precious in the company of death.
Facing death is frightening, and we generally prefer safety to glory. Satan knows this and is glad; he does not want us to acknowledge our mortality. For if you can accept that someday you will die regardless of your best efforts to the contrary, you will be ready for the glorious truth which is learned from acceptance of that fact: You have nothing to lose. Your life is already lost; it is inevitable. The ‘when’ and ‘where’ are yet to be determined, but it is going to happen. If you have already died at some future point, you lose nothing by dying sooner and gain nothing by dying later.
Armed with this truth we become truly dangerous to the evil one. We can give our lives away because we understand that they are already lost. We can give our money away because we know it’s already gone. We can surrender our egos, our lusting, our greed and our anger because we are already dead, and the dead do not sin.
If you are a disciple of Jesus, you were once baptized into death; open your eyes now to the life that awaits you.