This is me just thinking something out on the computer I might add to it and change it as I keep thinking.
Eccl. 3:2 A time to be ‘born’, and a time to ‘die’.
It is strange how so many of us seem to think that before Adam and Eve there was no death in the garden. Chatting to a friend of mine the other day, he seemed to believe that if it weren’t for the first humans eating the fruit then there would have been creation without death.
God never said creation was perfect, but that it was good. The Hebrew word for good is the word ‘tov’ which can also be translated as pleasant. ‘tov’ or good implies that there was work still to be done, that this creation was not perfect. The word perfect is the word ‘tamim’ which implies that the thing, which is perfect, is unchanging and cannot be made better. If it could be made better or that there needed more to be done on it, then it cant be perfect. A sacrifice had to be ‘tamim’ because God expected it to be something that was so good it didn’t need to be made better in anyway.
In Genesis 2 humans are commanded to ‘work the garden and take care of it’. Essentially the garden needed caring for because it was created with a natural rhythm to it. This rhythm was that of ‘birth’ and ‘death’ or ‘life’ and ‘death’ and this rhythm wasn’t just within the greenery but all creation. This tending needed doing so that the garden would grow and develop, it was never in gods plan that the garden would stay a garden, but that it would one day become the city we find in Revelation 21.
It is said that the early Jews believed that God dwelt within all of his creation. Because of this they said that when we are overly aware of being alive, we too at this point are feeling an overly closeness to his presence.
During the birth of a child they believed we felt a special closeness to God just as we do when someone we love dies. God is in the life and death, not because he causes it but because he is in it.
If you were a farmer you would notice that there is an even greater rhythm to the universe. This rhythm is that of life, death and life again. When something gives its life this life giving presence is then passed onto the next generation. A good example of this is manure, something that is dying passing nutrients and life back to the ground. We see this rhythm within the book of Leviticus. In Lev 25 entitled the ‘Sabbath Year’ God tells the people to allow the earth to have a year of Sabbath a year of rest. They are told to let the crops grow but not to maintain the land but to let it yield its crop (which they could eat) but to then let it die back. In this death the ground would rejuvenate its life. Normaly the unwanted bits were taken away and given to the animals to eat or used a fuel. But God wanted this year to allow the death to bring a fresh life to the soil.
We also see the death of a ‘tamim’ sacrifice to God bringing liberation, freedom and life to the one offering if.
I recently read about a motorbike racer’s death bringing life to 5 organ recipients.
Or what about the firemen who give their lives to save the life of others.
Or what about the truth that the best food we can eat is that which has recently had its life taken away from it. Fruit, vegetables and meat are all dead or in the process of dying, but in this they give me life. This is why coke and chocolate are so bad for you, they never lived.
Is it then surprising that God chose to work within this rhythm when reclaiming all of creation? Jesus’ death brings life.
Death is a key part of the way the creation of God works. In the death of one thing, life can be given to another.
This is why we are told to ‘die to our sins’ (1 Pet. 2:24). When we allow our old life to die with it all the sin we carry, this death brings life.
We can also take this one stage further and recognise that when we are in mid argument with someone rather than sticking to your guns and fighting it out. What about stepping back and dying to our pride and allow the other person to win, our death of our pride could give the other person life.
What about rather than wanting to be the best all the time, being better than others, allowing others to do better could be you dying to the pride of being the best. But by doing this giving the other person life.
Could this be why Jesus calls to be servants? Being a servant is dying to being the most important person in the room so that you might give life to someone who would naturally be over shadowed?
Serving is about stepping aside to allow others to live better.
Is it that Jesus is calling us to die so others can life.
Could it be that when someone greater or better than you steps to one side and asks you to take over, could this be Christ’s death and resurrection being lived out?
Mmmmm what do people think? Anyone have any thoughts?