ArticlesPoetry May 22, 2015 Dying into Life
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Creator and author,

Je­sus did not come to keep us from dy­ing. In­stead, He came to show us how to find life through death. Through Him death and suf­fer­ing be­come ser­vants in­stead of en­e­mies.

Blink And You’ll Miss It

Our third para­dox and maybe by now no one is shocked. It seems the Bible is full of them. This last one is a di­rect pro­gres­sion from our pre­vi­ous post. How does life come out of death? We are NOT talk­ing about the cy­cle of life or about how the death of one thing pro­vides the fer­til­iz­er for oth­ers. We are NOT talk­ing about how a seed has to die be­fore it pro­duces life John 12:24. This re­quires no spir­i­tu­al in­sight to un­der­stand. It is im­me­di­ate­ly ob­vi­ous to any­one who sees. Seeds will be­come trees and forests will grow from ash­es and all of this hap­pens ac­cord­ing to God’s rules. He does not need to be spe­cial­ly present for these things to hap­pen.

What we are talk­ing about here is a path that God carved out spe­cial­ly for us who suf­fer and die. Just like He went be­fore Is­rael 3 days to make the way Num­bers 10:33, Je­sus had to go be­fore us to be­come the way through the wilder­ness of suf­fer­ing and death.

The Bur­den That Gives Rest

Isa­iah 55:1, John 7:37, Matthew 11:28-30. What a strange thing to say! Come and buy with­out cost? He tells us to come to him if we are tired of car­ry­ing our bur­den but He doesn’t take the bur­den away. No! In­stead, He takes away the heavy bur­den and gives us a lighter one. Away from all those things that dri­ve you and en­slave, He asks you to come. But so that you nev­er have to serve again? No! He has an eas­i­er yoke for you. He has a Hum­ble and Low­ly Mas­ter for you to serve.

What an odd­i­ty. Every free­dom fight­er of­fers you free­dom from tyran­ny. Je­sus did NOT come to just to give you free­dom from tyran­ny. He has come to of­fer you the op­por­tu­ni­ty to sub­mit to and serve The King. He says that through this ser­vice and sub­mis­sion to Him, you will find rest. He says that by car­ry­ing His bur­den and by tak­ing His yoke, you will have rest. Re­mem­ber how Adam and Eve were cursed so that work and child bear­ing be­came sources of suf­fer­ing Gen­e­sis 3:16-18. In Matthew 11:28-30, Je­sus is not re­vers­ing the Word of God. Re­mem­ber Es­ther taught us that the law could not be re­versed Es­ther 8:8.

In­stead, Je­sus of­fers some­thing bet­ter than Es­ther. He of­fers to show us how to turn the curse into a bless­ing. He says that if we sub­mit to Him, He will show us how to find hon­ey in the lion, and how to find rest through bur­den. The trick He says, is car­ry­ing His bur­den and bear­ing His yoke. The trick is in sub­mit­ting to His Mas­ter Matthew 11:27.

You have to work. You have to toil. You have to suf­fer. But if you work un­der God’s di­rec­tion, if you toil un­der God’s or­ders, if you suf­fer with God even as God through Je­sus suf­fers with you then Je­sus promis­es that you will find rest. Not only in heav­en but be­gin­ning here on earth. Do you be­lieve Him? Will you go to Him and do what He says?

The Death That Brings Life

If we have de­cid­ed to be­come ser­vants of Je­sus then we should re­mind our­selves of some of His words John 13:16, John 15:20, Matthew 16:24. No ser­vant is greater than his mas­ter. If any­one would be His fol­low­er, he or she has to take up his cross and fol­low Him. Be­cause Je­sus also bears a cross. He suf­fers with us. As He leads us in vic­to­ry 2 Corinthi­ans 2:14, He also leads us in suf­fer­ing. He car­ries a cross and goes to die and any­one who will fol­low Him also has to do the same.

But we of­ten ap­proach Je­sus as if there will be no suf­fer­ing and no death. We have the delu­sion that any dif­fi­cul­ty in life or any­thing that looks like it will kill us is evil. But so far, we have seen that this is not so. Res­ur­rec­tion comes ... but only af­ter death. Just as Je­sus came how to show how to suf­fer in to rest, He also came to show us how to die into life. Je­sus doesn’t just re­move suf­fer­ing and death. There is some suf­fer­ing and some death He im­me­di­ate­ly un­does through mir­a­cles.

But Je­sus demon­strates His Pow­er by do­ing some­thing more in­cred­i­ble. He makes death re­verse it­self into life. Paul did not ask “Where is death?” No, Paul asked death, “Where is your sting?” 1 Corinthi­ans 15:55 So death re­mains and suf­fer­ing re­mains but they are no longer mas­ters. They are now ser­vants of Je­sus and all who serve Him learn how to suf­fer in such a way that rest is found. All who serve Him learn how to die in such a way that life (even our own) flour­ish­es. Un­der His Lord­ship, we suf­fer in such a way that suf­fer­ing is un­done into rest. We die in such a way that death is un­rav­eled into life. This is not a nat­ur­al process. There is no nat­ur­al anal­o­gy to this. No one else can do this or teach us to do this oth­er than the Almighty God.

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