I drove to the accountant today to get the bad news about the health of my wallet. (Wally hasn’t been himself lately, I think he’s stressed about tax season, but it turns out it wasn’t as bad as I thought – he should pull through)
On the trip, I passed several areas of land that have been scorched by recent grass fires due to a lack of rain in the midwest. These areas were mostly black, and the surrounding terrain was all dormant, dry, yellow grass. A pretty ugly sight really.
But what caught my eye was the green grass growing in pockets here and there in the burned places. Verdant, vivid, vibrant verdure was present in surprising amounts where fire had consumed the ground; but where no fire had destroyed, sickly winter grass was all there was. Amazingly, the areas the fires had ruined were returning to life more quickly and more completely than the areas left untouched.
Now I’m just wondering out loud, so don’t take this without that grain of salt – but it got me thinking: is the human spirit the same way? That is, could it be said that in order to truly live we first have to die? Hmmmm, there seems to be a Biblical case for this… let me see if I can find it.
Ah, Romans 6, but of course.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptizedinto Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just asChrist was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.For one who has died has been set freefrom sin.
Nowif we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
– Romans 6:3-11
Wow, now that I see it, the grass thing is actually a pretty good analogy for Baptism. We die with Christ in our Baptism, so that we can be raised up in newness of life.
So let me ask then: is our hope in our current lives, or in the resurrection? I, for one, would rather be the burned grass, returning green and alive, than the spared grass, doomed to blow away in the wind as its brittleness overtakes it. It did not die, therefore it cannot partake in the resurrection of life.
If our hope is in the resurrection, we HAVE to die. There is no other way.
…because only the dead can be raised again.