What Was it Like to Watch Life Die?
I remember sitting next to my mom as she lay in bed taking her last breaths. I remember coming home at midnight one night to find my dad collapsed and lifeless on the ground after an attempted suicide. And I can remember being the first at a horrible car accident scene where my brother and I watched a 16-year-old girl breath her last breath. All of these experiences were wrought with deep emotion and the emotions and thoughts did not wear off easily. As I watched a bit of,Jesus of Nazareth on Good Friday, I was watching a fictional reenactment of a factual event in history. A real man named Jesus, who claimed to be the Giver of Life, was executed by Roman authority.
I can’t help but have a crisis in my mind at the audacity of life dying. My mind can’t comprehend what it must have been like to see the Author of Truth be betrayed, put on trial, and denied; for the Healer of Men to be flogged, beaten, and bruised; for the Author of Life to carry a horrific instrument of death up to a hill called Golgotha, the hill of the skull. To see the body of the Son of God, staining on pierced hands and feet, just to lift His lungs high enough to gulp a slight breath of air. And then, to see the Hope of All the Nations lying limp and lifeless with no more blood pumping at all.
I don’t know what that would have felt like, but because of the gospel writers I know that the sky turned black in the middle of the day. The veil of the temple was torn just like the Father’s heart. And the earth quaked, bringing some dead people back to life. I don’t know what that moment must have felt like or looked like, but it must have been an agonizing one. But as audacious and agonizing it was to watch life die, it was just as audacious to watch death come to life. Just a few days after life died, death died as well. Death died as it gave way to life. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who killed death by killing and resurrecting the Giver of Life, Jesus the Christ.