Why exactly does God want to kill us? Sure, He wants us totally committed to His team, but where does death come into it – especially since His promise is to give us eternal life?
The death comes in losing our lives for Yeshua’s sake (Matthew 10:38-39). What God has to kill in us is our sin nature – that old selfish programming that steers us away from His perfect way. Even though we believe in Yeshua and are saved, our sin nature keeps on fighting. No one is immune to this. Even the apostle Paul said he often did the things he hated rather than the good things he knew he should do because of the sin still hanging on inside him (Romans 7:13-24).
But there is another way to look at this death thing. If we are already dead to self then we do not fear the death of our bodies, or anything else really. That’s what an Iraqi friend taught me. He loves Yeshua and was a witness for Him in Baghdad, a place where there is real persecution. I met him soon after he had escaped a second assassination attempt by leaving his wife and two of their children in Baghdad and fleeing to Jordan with his oldest son. Eventually the family was reunited, but it was clear that they could not stay in Iraq. It was not safe for any of them. That was why they fled as a family and lived for nearly two years as refugees before they received permission to settle in a new country. And that is not the end of their story. My friend yearns for the day he can return to Iraq and be a witness for Yeshua. He risks permanent separation from his family and physical death just so he can have a chance to save others from eternal death.
That is the point of this death talk. We comfortable Americans usually don’t want to look at it that way, but maybe we should. It seems that Yeshua was serious after all when He said:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29 NKJV)