I’m not afraid of death. Yes, it’s a bold statement. No, it’s not a challenge.
Several years ago I took a course, Perspectives of the World Christian Movement, and my thinking had a paradigm shift: in light of eternity, my life is expendable for the purposes of the Lord.
God has literally changed heaven and earth so that we will know him. In the aftermath of Christ’s death, Jerusalem was not a safe place for Christians so it drove them to flee for their own protection, providing the opportunity for the gospel to be spread to Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and even to the ends of the world (Acts 1:8). God will not allow destruction and evil to have the final word but instead even through hostile domination and persecution, he spreads hope, which is Christ.
God is passionate for each of us personally but his chief concern is for his creation to know him and worship him corporately, so that heaven can be established on earth. In other words, my earthly life is expendable for the greater good because I have the assurance I will be with the Lord in heaven, forever.
Philippians 1:21, For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
When my mother heard my new declaration, she had to confirm that I wasn’t going to run myself into a tree, simply to prove my point (you might have an idea what was I like as a teenager, if that was her first reaction). The thought of pain makes me wince, so I won’t do that but it was still puzzling to her. Another close friend also had some questions: wouldn’t I miss my family? Wouldn’t I want to see my Boy grow up? Of course, I want to be with my family and I want my Boy to grow up. I like my life and I don’t want to stop living.
Not being afraid of death isn’t a death wish. It means being totally and forever abandoned to life.
Have you ever come across a mentally unbalanced person on the street? You know, the one who is muttering profanities to himself and if you ever make eye contact (shudder to think), you see a crazed look. Those are the type of people we generally go out of our way to avoid because you never know what they will do. Except, that’s how I want to live, minus the mentally unbalanced part and muttering profanities, but I want to stare evil in the eyes and say, Boo and watch it shudder because I’m not afraid.
Jesus didn’t have a death wish; he was life itself and yet he laid down his life so that you and I could know God and be in a relationship. The enemy thought he could kill the author of life, but when Jesus rose from the dead he took away the sting of death. Yea, God! Way to take one for the team.
It’s remarkable. It’s the truth and if you believe it, what does abandoned to life mean to you?