A Beautiful Death
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3 ESV
The past is a wonderful place to visit but it is a horrible place to live. Nowhere does the old saying, “the grass is greener on the other side of the tracks,” ring truer than our recollection of the past, our past to be exact. It is an interesting quirk of human nature that the older we get, the more we visit the memories and places of our childhood and youth. We migrate back to a time we believe was better than whatever situation we are living in at the present. Family situations that distress us, along with the aches and pains of growing older, plant us all on the banana seat of our first bike as we peddle down to a little league game where we were a star. The truth is, we struck out most of the time. It is a form of escape from a present reality that we may not particularly like, however, this can be a deceptive path. Our past was not as good as we remember it to be, and neither is our life now as disheartening as we believe. George Orwell once said, “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone.” I believe God has bigger plans than Orwell’s depressing view.
I was riding down the road the other day with my three oldest grandchildren. They were taking turns choosing the music. Alas the modern age where kids can pick exactly what songs they want to listen to at any given moment. When I was growing up, we had to wait to see what came on the radio, but I digress. It was Benny’s turn, and he could not decide. The other two were trying to help him by suggesting songs they knew he liked. He turned to them both and uttered a profound statement of truth, “I liked that song a few years ago, but eight-year-old Benny is dead.” At eleven years old his tastes had changed. That statement sunk in heavy as I drove down the road. Without knowing it, my grandson had spoken an important truth. Who we were years ago is dead. For that matter, who we were yesterday is gone. Each day brings change and growth, and it is a healthy perspective that views the past as just that; the past. My father once told me that those who live in the past have no future. Better words than George Orwell’s.
However, there is also a spiritual truth to be learned from Benny’s words. For those who have believed on Christ, the Bible states that we are dead to certain things. Having been forgiven we are dead to our past in the realm of sin. Guilt and shame have no place in the life of the Christian. We are also dead to this world having been placed in Christ we dwell in Heaven at the right hand of the Father. This world has no hold on us for we have been separated completely from it by the cross of Christ. We are also dead to Satan our enemy. His power over us has been broken by the resurrected life within us. Finally, the Bible declares we are dead to the law. We have been completely separated from religion. The edicts of men in religious garb are futile when it comes to our growth in Christ. It is Christ who is our life. Who we were before Christ is gone for all eternity. Hallelujah!