Death awaits all of us and we know it. We run around trying with all our might to get everything we can out of life. But, a lesser known fact is that we start out this race with all odds against us. We are already dead.
No, I am not denying the reality of a final death awaiting us who breathe and have beating hearts in this moment, but I am trying to represent the reality of why death exists and give us an understanding of just how close it is to us.
If we think that it reserves a certain distance from us, a distance which we can comfortably measure in quantities known as days, weeks, months and years, then we are pitiable men. Death does not wait for us, it guards us. It has no need to exert itself over us because it already laid claim to us long ago.
Death really does no work at all. It is a state which we accept or reject. For most of us this does not seem a conscious reality, but if we could say goodbye to it, we know a difference. Death is haunting to its victims, yet poses no threat to those who have life. Death can not take life, it merely commands people who don’t have it. It is like a default mode for us post-Fall humans.
We cannot sustain ourselves apart from salvation. There is no such thing as maintaining wellness for us. If you have heard anything about the second law of thermodynamics, know that it applies to all of us — even our souls.
We are either dead because life is no where in our futures, or we are alive because death is no where in our futures. There is no such thing as being in the process of dying, as though this reality could be circumvented.
There is no coping with this death. We are either alive with Christ or dead without Christ. Only life makes coping necessary. Death just is. But this coping with life requires the cross; just as being raised to life requires the cross.
So we look to God not to maintain us as we are, but to release us from the captivity of depravity that we’re in. There is no other way out. We have Christ or we have nothing. We cannot look to any other thing in the hopes that it will make a significant impact on our lives or destinies. So long as our hearts are Christ-less our lives may be augmented by good things, but we ourselves will be wholly devoid of the One Good that holds us together.