I’ve always felt a bit uneasy referring to the day our Savior was crucified as Good Friday. Oh, I understand why we call it that since with the Christ’s sacrifice on the cross our redemption was secured.
But I think that may exemplify a problem that sinful man has. We would all say that God’s glory is what all His creation and everything else is about and that God shares His glory with no one. This is as it should be since God is without equal! But do we believers act as though we believe that? We read the Bible from the perspective of what is God saying to me when perhaps our perspective should be how is God being glorified in these verses. Same with circumstances, we tend to view them through the lens of how they impact self when perhaps we should be trying to see how God is being glorified through them. I confess this is one of my many weaknesses but how our lives could be changed if God’s glory was the lens through which we experienced life. Then either good times or bad times become opportunities for God to be glorified. Good health or bad health; promotion, demotion; marriage or staying single; wealthy or poor; all opportunities for God to be glorified. And the natural side effect from experiencing life through this lens is it takes much of the sting out of bad circumstances and adds a little more spice to the good.
We are told in 1st Thessalonians 4: 13 that we should not grieve as those with no hope which is the way we must view Jesus’ death for us to call it Good Friday and that because we know it was the Father’s plan and for His glory.
1st Corinthians 15: 55 says “O death, where is by victory? O death, where is thy sting”. What comfort I’ve received when I’ve looked at my Shaun’s death through the lens of God’s glory and Shaun’s good for he’s now walking on streets of gold with the Christ.
So why do we fear death if it brings glory to God? Separation, of course, is one of the reasons. We don’t want to be separated from someone we love and care for. God made us relationally and so we are naturally going to miss those taken from us by death. Even the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son looked down the road daily for his son because he missed him. Perhaps primarily missing our loved ones is how we grieve with hope.
And, as humans, we fear, or at least are anxious about the unknown with death being one of the ultimate, inevitable unknowns.
This fear is magnified if as Christians we have failed to study and better understand what awaits us once we close our eyes on planet earth for the last time and instantaneously open them in paradise. Remember, one of the common denominators in the members of the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame of Faith was that there home was not on this earth. They had a heavenly home which enabled them to view life through a heavenly perspective with God’s glory being their ultimate motivation. Ignorance breeds fear but the sting of death has been forever removed by God Himself so we have no reason to fear death. We are naturally going to miss those we love but the length of separation is a drop in the bucket when compared to spending eternity together.
So I say all this to make the point that perspective, the glasses through which we view life, impacts how we view death. Is it a gateway to God’s glory or the scary unknown? There’s an old saying that we are “so heavenly minded we are no earthly good”. If I may alter that slightly, if we are heavenly minded then fear is no earthly good.