Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did You Die With Him?

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:3-4

“What happens when we die?” That is a question posed by a small child who is first learning about death. It is also a question posed by the elderly who are approaching that moment in their lives. It is also pondered by everyone in between each time a friend or loved one crosses over that great divide.

Death is monumental in the lives of those of us who are not yet dead, but of course it is of more significance to those who die. When my daughter, Leah died from injuries suffered in a car wreck almost seventeen years ago I remember everything about that day. The images were burned into my brain. The phone call letting us know about the wreck. The frantic trip to the hospital and the excruciating hours of waiting for the news that Leah was dead. Then there were the days, weeks, months and years of adjusting to the fact that our daughter was no longer here.

These verses in Colossians are not talking about physical death. They are referring to our death to the world. When we are born again the old life is no longer there. In a sense Christians believe in re-incarnation. It is not though the same man in a new body, it is rather a new man in the same body.

If I could speak with my daughter Leah and ask her if things are different now that she is dead what would be her answer? Of course things are different for everyone who has crossed over. But what about those who have died to the world?

If I have died to this world and my life is now hidden with Christ in God then what difference does that make in the way I think, act, feel, and live?

When you physically die those who are left are impacted by that death for years. When you die to this world and hidden with Christ those who had been living around you are impacted as well.

We sometimes struggle to give our testimony to the world around us. That is like putting a sign in your casket saying “I am now dead.” I have never seen a corpse in a casket that didn’t look dead. If you are dead to the world, the world will know it. And if you are alive in Christ they will know that as well.

You may have been crucified with Christ but the bigger question is: Did you die with Him, or are you still hanging there holding on to the old life, hoping for resuscitation rather than resurrection.

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