Death and the Cross

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Our greatest fear is the fear of death.
Death can sometimes be so final and dark,
There seems to be nothing beyond it.

Sometimes, I would imagine how else could have Jesus died.
He could have died in battle, leading an army in some final Armageddon.
Then He would be remembered as a legendary hero-warrior.
But that would go against the grain of His commandment of love,
Of doing good to those who hate us.
No, Christ may fought many battles but He was not a conquering hero-warrior.

He could have died of a disease.
An acute one like a virulent pneumonia,
Or a lingering catastrophic one like a vicious cancer.
But then He could have just healed Himself.
Besides, Christ seemed to have lived a healthy lifestyle.
No, Christ may have healed a lot of sick people but He seemed like a healthy person.

He could have lived to a ripe old age
And just died a natural death.
He could have been remembered as a wise old man
Dishing our words of wisdom till his dying day.
Somehow, I cannot imagine Christ as simply fading out like a sunset.
No, Christ wanted to show us the worst possible death
And how he can transform such an ignominious event into a glorious one.

We all must die and we all wish and pray for a peaceful and painless death.
Christ choose the worst imaginable death,
A death He freely accepted:
He died, condemned as a common criminal.
He died a most violent and brutal death.
He died on the cross, the most gross penalty at that time.

In the end, he showed us death is but a portal to a new life.
Death, even in its worst possible manner of happening,
Is being born into a new life
Where all our fears, specially of death itself,
Are assuaged as we come into everlasting life
When death shall have lost its sting.

Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
~ Psalm 137

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
John 3:14-21

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