What does dying mean? To give my life to something more than me? Sacrifice I don’t deserve to pay for riches I don’t deserve to gain. A life anew from a wasted, worthless rag. From beggars to princes, this is grace for the wicked. To give a life to find a life is like selling money yet somehow to sell out my soul, a worthless shell of what men should be, was worth enough to the one who holds my future and my destiny. What a legacy. I lived, I died, I rose with Christ. To live for me is like a bad dream, the haunting of old, faded memories. This life I live is not my own, forgiveness now has found my soul. To die a death 1000 times is worth the riches of the cross of Christ. Salvation through the only blood, the first blood; the richest and reddest. He lives through my death, the blood covered my debt. Penalty paid, salvation made, redemption gained. What does dying mean?
AIO (Adventures in Odyssey) a Focus on the Family radio drama series has an episode entitled “The Mortal Coil”, where a meddling inventor discovers a way to use an mind manipulating machine to simulate the effects of death and what comes after. The man is a Christian and experiences a fraction of what death with Christ looks like: peace, overflowing joy and happiness, satisfaction, and completion… But his mind couldn’t separate the fantasy from reality and he nearly killed himself. Death was so alluring, so appealing he convinced himself that he didn’t want to live. Once his mind believed that, he entered a coma and wouldn’t come out of it.
The story was sobering as even the reality of heaven could entice someone, even a faithful follower of Christ to forsake their life. Bliss is a dangerous thought for mortal minds. But there were two sides of this coin. In the story, a man who was not a Christian also attempted the experiment. Though, rather than tasting a fraction of Hell.
“It was aweful. I’ve never felt such loneliness. It was as if I was separated from everyone and everything. Utterly and thoroughly alone in a burning blackness and I’ve had nothing but nightmares since.”
Death is not something we feeble mortals can bear on this side of eternity. Not Heaven, not Hell, we are terminal and our minds think temporal thought. To imagine everlasting bliss or torment is beyond us. When we say we will die to ourselves to live for Christ… when we surrender our lives we place them on an alter of sacrifice and slay them. But what does it mean to die? What is death? It is beyond us, just as pain, fear, joy, and pleasure are all things we feel but cannot comprehend rationally. Death exists and occurs, but what is it?
The best answer always comes from looking at Christ’s example. His death meant giving His innocent life for guilty men. Laying down His freedom, His human desires and submitting to the will of another to gain what He truly wanted in His heart. Dying is the most painful thing we can imagine and death and loss should not be intentionally tampered with on this earth, in this life. I just want you to know what you’re saying when you die to yourself. All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist