Lent 2008: Day 5 – Christ and Death

Monday. Today, we begin the first full week of Lent and already I am having problems completing these meditations. I have not written on this blog with this kind of discipline since last Lent and with everything that is going on, well, you know all of the excuses.

I will say, that a couple of times thus far, writing something is like climbing a mountain of difficulty. It is really difficult to get going. It is a spiritual battle, about which I shouldn’t be surprised. I would appreciate any spare prayers you could send my way.

There is one insight on our subject of death, however, that I do want to share today. I was thinking about the death of Jesus and I noticed something I had not seen before. Death occurred for him in the same way it did for us. First, he experienced the separation from God, like we did:

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

Remember, we don’t just physically die because of our sin, we first start out spiritually dead, separated from God; that is the normative state of our existence; then we physically die. Since he was like us in every way, except did not sin, the same order of events happened for Jesus. On the cross, bearing our sin, he experienced our forsakeness, our separation from God. Then having born the full weight of sin, all our sin and its eternal consequences, he died physically.

None of my commentaries mentioned anything about this context of the crucifixion, and I have never heard it discussed or preached on, but it appears so obvious now that I think about it. I am sure I am not the first to think of the connection, but I am thankful that God has allowed me to grasp this at this time.

In a way it is hard to explain, but this insight has brought me closer to Jesus. He is more my brother than ever and I sense a kinship with him I had not experienced before. The human side of the Son has taken on a deeper meaning for me now and after pondering this, and I hope, as you think about it, for you also.

May God bless your day today and may this week set the roots of Christ ever deeper into your soul. Grace and peace.

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