Bill shared about the parallel between taking Jesus to the world and the heroic passengers on flight 93 that went down on 9/11. While all the passengers and crew were killed in the crash, no further lives were claimed as it missed its intended target. The reason those passengers were able to act heroicly to cause a crash that would ultimately kill themselves was due to the fact that they were already dead. Yep, you read that right-they were already dead. See, by the time they were on their cell phones with loved ones and knew they were hijacked, they heard of the other planes and knew they were also on track to have a similar end. Their time was up. They had only minutes, maybe hours until they were dead. When you realize you are dead, you no longer have to fear death. There was no fear holding them back from acting in a way that ended in their death because regardless of their actions, they were going to die that day. The parallel comes in with people who do not fear for their lives even though taking the gospel to other places may result in their death. Why are they not afraid? Because they realize that they are already dead. Quite honestly, we all are already dead. We know that we are going to die. Even people who don't know our Lord know that. We joke in our country that "nothing's certain but death and taxes." See, if we really stop and think about it we will see that we are already dead. Our countdown is just longer than those on the flight (or so we always think-reality is that we can never know for sure). When we live in light of the fact that we are going to die, it takes out the fear of death and even the need to try to control it. We can't stop it, and like Paul says in the New Testament, to die is Christ. We actually get to be with Christ at that point! This is the meaning then of "Death where is thy victory." For the world, the reality that death is certain should be terribly overwhelming and scary. For believers, it is filled with hope and promise and should be desired!
So where does this all leave me? I mean, it changed my perspective greatly so now what? Well, I realized that I live too often as if I am not dead, am not going to die. I live like the here and now and today and what people around me think is much more significant than the fact that I'm going to die and leave all this behind to be with my Savior. I see how this causes me to fear so much-to fear sharing truth for what people may think or do to me, to fear acting counter to the world's expectations for drawing unwanted attention to myself/my family, to fear pain and suffering that might bring death and missing out on something on earth (which isn't going to last even if I get old and die of old age anyway!). As Christians, we don't often (or ever) phrase it as we are already dead. We usually talk about how we have New Life in Christ. I think that the Life Abundant that Christ came to bring us, is the freedom from death. It is not just the fact we'll live eternally in Heaven someday. It frees us from the constraints of death here, now, the fear and the changing of behavior to try to somehow evade its grasp. If we live in the New Life-in the freedom of truly pursuing matters of the Kingdom of God, then when we die it is like death catches up our bodies to our souls. Our souls were already dead (to sin and self when we became new creations in Christ) and started living in light of eternity. So when our bodies die, the 2 catch up to each other.
In light of all these ideas-I want to live a life more free. I want to walk each day in freedom from fear of others because let's face it. I'm already dead. I don't want to live dead. I want to LIVE!