Afraid to Die?
Sometimes, despite the knowledge that Christ has died for us, and thus taken away all of our need to fear death, we still revert back to our human nature tendency and fear death. A lot.
We have a God who suffered every type of pain possible for us. He suffered body, soul and spirit. For example:
Body: Christ (very obviously) suffered the physical pain for the Cross. The way Christ heals us of all of our wounds is b suffering physically and bearing that pain for us.
Soul: Christ felt betrayed by His friends, close Apostles and most everyone who said that they loved and believed in Him. He even felt the pain of temptation (which we read about this weekend in the Gospel, if you remember) and He suffered internal conflict, too.
Spirit: Here is where it gets ironic and mind-boggling. Christ, the son of God, and God Himself, knew the pain of feeling like God doesn't care and doesn't see what we are going through. He calls out from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" This is a call of utter desperation "Dear God! Why do you say that you love me and then toss me out when I need you the most? Where are you? This hurts, why don't you care?"
Yet when God is beat down the most, that is when He is winning. We were not redeemed and saved when Christ rose from the dead. We were saved and redeemed the moment that Christ died, taking on all suffering that a human being could ever suffer.
We worship what the world sees as a failure. A loser. A person who could talk the talk but eventually ends up dying on a cross, stripped not only of His clothes, but of His very skin.
Christ takes on humanity to suffer, but also to show us the way to Heaven. We do not live only once, (remember, YOLO?) but twice. And the second time is forever. And forever is a very long time. So why would we want to cling to this short amount of time here on earth as if there is no hope for the after life?
This isn't our home. Heaven is where we are supposed to spend the rest of eternity with God. Eternity - forever and ever and ever and, well you get the point. For those who have gone before us into the everlasting life, sometimes we pity them because they are not still here. This is wrong - we should pity ourselves because we are not in Heaven yet! No one feel sorry for the guy who gets to check out early from work and go home to relax with his family. In fact, this person is the subject of much jealously.
God bless you and strengthen you this Lent,