As we approach the season of Lent we start looking toward the penitence of the season. In Psalm 116.15 (ESV) we read, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Why would this be? Theories abound and I can't put my finger on just one which is surely the definitive answer. But I know this. Throughout history, the only way we come into the living and eternal presence of the Lord is through death. Jesus died and was raised again from the dead as the firstfruits. He shows us that he's in the resurrection business and that we will rise as he did. And the only way we're going to rise from the dead is if we die first. It's part of the process of our Lord gathering a people to himself.
Does this mean we're fatalists and should all have a death wish? No, there's plenty of evil in the world to bring our mortal lives to an end. We don't need to hasten it along. But we don't cling to this earthly life too tightly either. There's eternity out there, waiting. For those who believe Jesus died for them, who trust in him for their eternal life and hope, death has nothing to fear. It's precious in God's eyes. What he has planted here he will also harvest.
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