If as humans we consider dying to be a part of the eliminative process of life as new lives emerge on the scene, perhaps it would be as natural as a dying banana tree surrendering to its emerging shoots to continue the mission of food production or a store clearing out the old stock to make space for new arrivals.
We often pass off death in this way as a natural, anticipated closure to life — as something dated and finite as milk on a supermarket shelf. As we hear of another triple murder or the passing of a famous person, the shock and horror may start to conveniently fit things into a way of life — a shock that gradually subsides into normality. But when a close acquaintance, a friend, or a family member passes, why does the inevitability and finiteness of death seem such a travesty? Why does it seem like chopping down a fruitful banana tree, irrespective of its age, just because a new sucker springs up or dumping cartons of fresh milk because new ones arrive?
Could it be that death is not a natural intrusion on life and the ending of life cannot be justified? Perhaps life is too precious to be reconciled, however many lives we’ve lost.
We tend to roll our eyes at the Bible‘s position on life and death yet Jesus’s remark at John 11:25, where he says, “I am the resurrection and the life, the one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life,” seems more logical and legitimate than casting life off into the dustbin of an eliminative cycle.
In other words, death, by itself, is clearly a one-way ticket out, but when confronted with the ransom that Jesus provides it becomes a temporary vacation away, where your passing loved ones are holding two-way tickets.