I Witnessed a Death . . . and I Rejoiced!
This past Sunday I was privileged, thrilled and delighted to witness a fantastic occurrence: I was present to watch a young man die! I witnessed this event firsthand along with several others, so I know that it happened. I watched as this young man died and was buried, and yet no one who saw this event was sad.
It is true that no one was sad, but that does not mean there were no dry eyes in that audience. Even though I did not know the young man personally I found some tears well up in my own eyes as his death was manifest. Many had actually prayed for this death for a long time, and tears of joy trickled down their faces as they watched their prayers being answered as this young man surrendered his life to death.
How could anyone be happy with the death of a young man? How could anyone have not only wanted, but had even been praying for the moment this young man would die who, by all outward appearances, seemed to be in the prime of his life and in perfect health? Those in the audience, and those who had prayed for this moment, were now rejoicing for this young man chose to be immersed into Jesus Christ, washing away his sins (Acts 22:16)!
Our sinful nature must die in order for us to have eternal life in Christ. Paul wrote, "But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him; knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death no more has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died unto sin once: but the life that He lives, He lives unto God." (Romans 6:8-10) When we die unto sin we come alive unto God in His Son: "Even so reckon you also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:11) Once we are alive unto God through His Son, we are also members of His family, and heirs to His fortune: "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him." (Romans 8:16-17)
It is only through obedient baptism that one accesses the cleansing power of Jesus' blood: "Or are you ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4) It is only through baptism that one becomes clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Won't you choose to die to self and to sin, and walk in newness of life with Christ, that we along with the heavenly host may rejoice for your death, too?
May God bless you!