We know the world is broken. We are told that this is so all the time but, so often, the broken things of this world become so commonplace, so ingrained in our lives, that we no longer recognize them as things that do not belong.
Death is one of these things that doesn't belong. It happens, and we all know that it happens, but I, for one, like to ignore it. When I come face to face with it, it is always surprising. It always throws me for a loop.
I came upon an accident after an event last night. It was a single person accident, no others were involved. On my first glance, I thought this person was already dead. Thankfully, they weren't, so while someone else called the cops and reported the accident itself, I crouched by the victim's head and told them that help was on the way and that everything would be fine. I don't know if they could hear me, but I wanted there to be a calm presence in the chaos of the scene; if they sensed anything, I wanted it to be peaceful and assured. After the cops arrived, a friend and I stood to the side and prayed for them. I felt good about it all - I had done everything that I hope someone would have done for me, those who were skilled to handle this sort of thing were there, and I was hopeful about the outcome. Now, I tend to be good in a crisis, which means cops like to talk to me after things like this happen. In this case, the cops came back to my house later to get my statement. During my discussion with them I got news I wasn't expecting: they don't expect the victim to live. This person, who was right in front of me not a half hour before, is dying. By the time I right this, they may indeed be dead. And that tells me, in no uncertain terms, that this world is indeed broken.
The other day, I was talking with a wise friend about life and death and about how, in terms of eternity, life is as short as the blink of an eye. Everyone lives, everyone dies. We all know that death is coming, and yet, when it comes, we are still unprepared. We are still saddened. We still grieve intensely. My friend said, "That's because it was never supposed to be this way."
She's right. When God created the world, He didn't originally include the death of man. We were to live forever in community with Him. And then sin entered the world, and the wages of sin is death. And so we die. But we are not meant to die, we are meant to live forever with God, to inherit eternal life through Christ. This hope to which He has called us. We live in a broken world but we are not stuck here forever. To borrow a thought from another wise friend, we are not earthly beings who have spiritual experiences. Instead, we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Our experience was never meant to be broken, and through Christ we are reconciled to God. I long for and hope for the day when there is no more death, no more broken bodies, no more pain and I live a life of complete freedom with Christ on high.
Ephesians 1: 16-20
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places