A physical death of sacrifice
A willful death of surrender
The ultimate death for salvation
But only to live again
Once upon a time, some dogs died. The young man left to take care of his master’s house locked the gate and disappeared. But he left the dogs. The poor dogs were trapped inside the confines of the Jericho-like walls. Eventually, their howls ceased and we wondered what had happened to them. We did not want to think of why we couldn’t hear them anymore. But we found out for sure.
One chose to lie by the gate, its final resting place. When we passed by we could see its big black body. Still. Lifeless. Perhaps it must have smelled the freedom on the other side from under the gap beneath the metal barrier. We could see its carcass change as the days went by and we could do nothing. It bloated, then shrunk, until it looked like a black mat. And then there was not much left, just a patch of black on the white tiled ground.
And then it rained. And rained some more. And a couple of weeks later, little blue flowers sprang up from the black patch. Little blue flowers creeping from under the gate, a glimpse of something bordering on hope, that in death, there can be life.
From death and decay sprang beauty and life. But mostly we ignore death, or fear it. Seldom do we welcome it because it usually conjures negative and painful emotions we’d rather do without. However, one thing sure about life is death. Sometimes the only way to live is to die. And some blessings come only through the doorway of suffering and pain.
Today, I remember the One who died. He died for a worthy cause. But if he had just died, that would’ve been just sad. I like happy endings. That is why Titanic isn’t close to being a movie favourite for me. He saved the girl. And died. And stayed dead. How very disappointing.
But Good Friday is good because of Easter Sunday. Because he didn’t stay dead. He lives! Isn’t that the best love story in the world? Try finding someone who will die for you. Just try.
But there are different ways we die even while we live. The apostle Paul understood this when he talked of living sacrifices. The thing is, what will you die for? And what are you dying for? (because we all die). Is the sacrifice for a worthy cause? Jesus died so we might live and live well. Stop stressing and live. He didn’t die for show, you know.