We are striving hard to survive among various challenges in this earthly life. While we face trouble in our jobs, diseases or arguments with our loved ones, we stop trusting God and trust every other resource of this world. In this pursuit, the thought of ending our lives frequently comes to mind. When we forget that we are the forgiven children of God, we connect sin to every misfortune. Fear creeps into our minds, and we do not want to live anymore in this world. All of us certainly have to die one day, but ending our lives for not getting what we wanted will lead us to eternal death.
Life And Death
In the world’s concept, life ends with death but according to God, life begins with death. Which one of the above concepts is lingering in our minds? The death had lost its battle, and life had won. If we believe that Jesus had conquered death, every challenge we face in our lives will work together to lead us towards eternity. Martha had the concept of this world in her mind when her brother died. Yet she also believed in the resurrection of the dead during the last days.
We do believe in the resurrection of the dead. While thinking of “the valley of death,” usually we think about a chasm between earth and heaven that our soul has to travel after death. Humans can die only once, and the pilgrimage of our souls towards heaven is a mystery to us. But what we do not realise is that each day we walk through a valley of death. We have to choose between life and death at each moment of our life, since the day Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit. In other words, we are walking through the valley of death daily. Jesus addresses the people who walk in the darkness as dead people. When we keep on sinning, the devil preserves us for eternal death. Jesus once said the below verse to one of His disciples who had asked permission to bury his father.
But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”Matthew 8:22
God does not want any soul to perish, and He is not happy when a person dies as a sinner without coming to Him to receive forgiveness for their sin. We have to die for our sin in this world and live for Jesus.
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?Ezekiel 18:23
A God Who Helps
We feel happy that Jesus lived among us and suffered like us to feel the pain we are undergoing. Jesus came to this earth to give us confidence that He knew our problems better than we know them. God had stooped to our level to save us from eternal death. Despite His noble act, we assume that we are helping Him by doing His ministry. We underestimate His wisdom and think that He came to this earth to learn about us and our problems. God did not send His Son to explore the possibility of redeeming us from our sins but gave His Son as an atonement for our sins. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, He prayed for forgiveness for our sins. And when we walk through the valley of death, His Cross and His Word will comfort us.
Because he suffered when he was tempted, he can help those who are being tempted.Hebrews 2:18
A God Who Prays
It is common for people to pray to God, but we have an intermediary who prays to His Father on behalf of us. As the devil tries to snatch our souls during our sufferings, Jesus prays to His Father unceasingly to protect us from the tricks of the evil one. Running away from our problems will make the devil happy, but facing them by keeping us in the secured hands of God will cast away the devil from our lives. Whenever our problems push us to the edge of ending our lives, we should remember the following prayer of our Lord Jesus.
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.John 17:15
Whenever satan claims our lives, Jesus prays for our protection. Before Peter denied Jesus thrice because of peer pressure, Jesus prayed that His faith should not turn into disbelief. Jesus is unceasingly praying for us by sitting at the right hand of His Father.
A God Who Changes The Evil To Good
God protects us in different ways. One of His ways is using the enemies’ weapons as our defence. Pharaoh and his army chased the Israelites to the edge of the Red sea. The Israelites were trapped when they reached the Red Sea as either they had to die by drowning in it or by the swords of their enemies who were chasing them. But God parted the Red Sea and paved the way for the Israelites to walk through it. Pharoh expected the Israelites to drown in the water, but that water stood like a wall as the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. When the Israelites crossed it completely, God made the water cover the entire army of Pharaoh with the water killing the Egyptian army.
Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.Exodus 14:27-28
In the book of Esther, we see how God made the weapon prepared by Haman to kill Mordecai into a weapon that killed Haman.
The king said, “Impale him on it!” So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai.Esther 7:9-10
Jesus laid His body on the cross, and the cross that kills the sinners transfigured into a life-giving tree that exists forever. Weapons used to kill criminals in the olden days are not available now and are obsolete. But the cross that tried to eliminate the grace from this world exists as a symbol of eternal love. Jesus, who laid His life on the cross, is living forever, and the cross still survives with a different identity. Unlike the other cruel weapons, such as guillotines, tridents, hanging bridges, arrows, guns, the image of the cross has not changed, and it has become a symbol of the love of God.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.1 Corinthians 1:18
God Who Conquered Death
With our sinful nature, when we were about to receive the wages of our sin, God sent His only beloved Son and laid down our sins on Him. As He did not sin but bore our sins, death cannot handle Him, and He resurrected on the third day. A provision to inherit the Kingdom of God in this earthly life is available to all of us. If we become ready to die for our sins with Him on the cross, we will rise with Him and have a brand new life on this earth itself. The words that Jesus said to Martha reveal the importance of obtaining a new life for us.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26
As God has redeemed us and bought us with His Son’s precious blood, our life continues in heaven when it ends on this earth. Hence, let us not wait for the day when our mortal body wears out, but by dying to sin, let us conquer death in this life with the one who defeated death. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day to inherit eternal life (2 Corinthians 4:16). God is a God of the living and not of the dead.
But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”Matthew 22:31-32
… Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.John 14:19b-20
God did not address only the church of Smyrna, but it is written for us also. We have forsaken the love we had at first. God asks us to consider how far we have fallen. If we repent and overcome this world with His word, we will be the victorious people.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.Revelation 2:11