OF LIFE and DEATH
BY: JOHN R. GAVAZZONI
In that marvelously unique way that the Spirit of Truth leads us, it has been my experience that He will often have me note what some verse of scripture does not say. So it was just this very day as I reflected on the relationship between life and death that God did not say re: the consequence of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, "... for in the day you eat thereof, you will cease to live." No, He said---as best translated----"... dying, thou shalt surely die." It is required for one to be dying that that one be living. There is no dying without living. Paul wrote of our Lord's death, "For the death He died, He died for sin once; but the life He lives, He lives unto God." Did you get that: "... the death He died.......but the life He lives?" Because of Jesus, we die death, and live life according to Paul. And we do so concurrently. Death is died, and life is lived together on the Way of, and to, resurrection life in all its fullness - all the way to the life of glory. While death was present within Adam and Eve in its initial form of mortality, it was released into their experience upon Adam's disobedience. Since then, we are "at all times continuously bearing about within [our] body the deadening, deadness, and state of death that comes from Jesus, to the end that the life, also, of Jesus can be set in clear light and manifested within our body." (2 Cor. 4:10; one reading from the JMNT)
Death attaches itself to, and feeds off of, life. Death is possible only because of life. I know that it is commonly believed that Adam and Eve died spiritually. Well, scripture doesn't really present different kinds of death, i.e., spiritual, soulical and physical. It simply presents us with death, with that death having spiritual, soulical and physical consequences. Adam's and Eve's latent mortality issued forth by disobedience into the process of "dying, thou shalt surely die." To repeat, it's not about ceasing to live. They went on living, but with death as a parasite feeding on their lives. Life comes out of eternity, progresses through time, and continues on eternally (the life He LIVES, HE LIVES). But it is different with death. Death came into existence within time and can only exist as long as the life of eternity within time is subjected to mortality. That will change. This mortal shall put on immortality, then death will no longer be able to feed upon life. It is our mortality that makes us vulnerable to death's parasitical presence. Life is lived and lived and lived, but death is died. It is death's destiny to die. Death does not terminate life. Life terminates death.
Death is able to have temporal continuation by being passed from generation to generation. Before death can die, it is passed on. "For as by one man, sin entered the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men, upon which all have died." BUT the death of all the generations past, present, and future converged at the point of the death of Christ, and in His death, death finally and completely died. It is essentially mortality that is the core of our subjection to futility. Of course, how futile it is to try to keep from dying, and that really is what all human angst is about: the desperate attempt to keep from dying until that futility has its perfect work and we accept our consignment to mortality. Death is a kind of catalyst to draw forth life's essential immunity to death, and it actually draws forth out of life its fullest abundance. The life breathed into the nostril's of Adam has no beginning and no end, and death's parasitical attachment to that life leads to the mighty death of Christ that issued forth in life glorified.