“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3-4).
Lying in bed awake last night I was suddenly covered by a cool blanket of tranquility. Not sure why. I simply laid there absorbing the quiet.
Hank and Kip were taking up their normal acre of bed space, right in the middle, between Nancy and me. 125 pounds of dog sleeps wherever it wants.
It was so quiet, so peaceful. In at least one way, it shouldn’t have been such.
Today’s high is forecast to be 109 degrees, one of hottest days of the year. It should distress any normal mammal.
As I laid there in the pitch black, I began praying. Not for anything. Not a request for a change of weather to suit me. Only a quiet whisper of hope.
The cool blanket of peace and trust enwrapped me like a baby’s first blanket.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having had thoughts, even fears of, death the last few days of a 10-day hospitalization. Lying in a hospital bed for that long will do that to you.
Unless and until we find a way to be grateful for the gift of death. A gift because of what death makes possible.
According to the apostle’s own testimony, there are two truths about death we forget at the peril of our own peace. As Jesus died his own death on the Cross, so we all have a personal appointment with death. Our death makes possible the peace heretofore unavailable.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
A new life is the gift of death. Without death there is no resurrection. Without the seeds of the flower’s death there would be, for example, no bluebonnets next spring.
Death is God’s way of redeeming life. It is not correct to say Jesus rose from the dead. It is more accurate to say God raised Jesus from death.
As Mark Wingfield, executive director of Baptist News Global recently wrote, we are not saved by the blood of Christ. We are saved by the resurrection of Christ.
Everyone dies. In the resurrection, we are all saved.
Glen Schmucker is a writer, speaker and Baptist pastor who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. Follow his blog on Facebook.