Have you ever had a “near death” experience? When I was in my early 20s I had a couple of them. Both involved car accidents when I thought I had no chance of surviving, but somehow, I did. I was not panicked in those moments, I was completely at peace. It was surprising, really, to be that young and feel at peace with the thought of dying. But that was my experience. Since that time, I think I have taken a different view of my own death. I don’t seem to fear it. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not want to die anytime soon. And I feel responsible to do my part to life and long and healthy of a life as I can.
My “fear” around the idea of death and dying comes more around those I love. I probably do have some fears related to Tim dying or my children dying or even my siblings dying. I want those I love to have long and good lives and I wouldn’t want anything to cut that short. That’s probably a very obvious thing to say. I suspect all of us feel that way, even though we know Paul’s words to be true: “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)
As we go through this week and contemplate the death and dying of Jesus, those words take on a deeper and fuller meaning. As we move toward the cross this week, we know that God was there and is there even when we falter and fail as the disciples did. We know that love is stronger than any earthly thing, even stronger than death itself.