[Part 4, Chapter 27]
I know a person so obsessed with death and dying, it is has robbed him of life and living.
I, too, have my moments. At 3am, lying in bed, I’m sometimes assailed by the lie “when you’re dead, you’re dead; there’s nothing more.” Contemplating my mortality, rather than slumbering in the goodness of God, other invading voices scout the territory, seeking to march in on that lie. It all gets more vexing from there.
At this point it’s either, “Jesus Christ you are alive and you are real”, or you get up and go to the whiskey cabinet.
Death is the greatest leveller. Last time I looked, the going rate of death was still running at 100%. All of us will die. Yet it seems a taboo subject, even among Christians. Death avoidance can cause us to become death obsessed. We fear that which we don’t—or seemingly can’t—face.
Instead of dealing with death, some try to fill the heck out of life now. More parties, possessions, power, pleasure, popularity, pursuits. Looking around, you couldn’t tell there’s no such thing as a tow-bar on a hearse.
Yet it really ends with more pretence, as if this is all that is real; more procrastination, putting off dealing with the big issues … and more pointlessness. Favour seems to have flown.
The writer to the Hebrews reiterates that Jesus died, once for all (Hebrews 7:27; 10:10).
Peter also says Jesus died once for all to give you access to God (1 Peter 3:18).
Our death has been taken care of in Jesus. We have access.
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
That’s the gift of access, life through Jesus.
Every time death begins to sneak its way into my mindset and starts to exert control, I cast it out. The words I use are something like this: “Thoughts of death be gone. Jesus, I welcome your life. Father, I receive your life. Jesus, I abide in your life. Holy Spirit, you are the Spirit of life.”
Whenever thoughts of death and futility knock, you can lock them out in this way. Those thoughts will come, but you don’t have to give them access. Dropkick notions of death—and any other oppression—straight to Jesus. In its place, receive life.
I do this in my mind, but I also express it verbally, out loud (sometimes as a whisper so as not to wake Julie).
It may seem silly at first. However, this is you taking authority over your own life with the favour you’ve been given. This is you showing you are not powerless. This is you utilising the abundance of grace. It’s not a medal or a trophy. It’s a powerful weapon to be received and used: “Death out. Jesus, I receive your life.”
Then you truly can rest in peace.