Everywhere we look there are signs of new life. After enduring a cold rain for almost two days, the new flowers in neighborhood beds and roadside trees look too good to be true. At least in North Carolina, spring is here. The new life extends beyond plant life. Baby bunnies and chickies ooze not only with cuteness, but new fluffy lives. After a cold, snowy winter I think everyone welcomes the warmer temperatures and signs of new life. It happens every year. The cycle of the seasons could be misunderstood to show that death and life trade off every fall and spring. It makes sense to think just as new life is a natural, wonderful part of spring, so also the death of so many things in the fall is sad but natural too.
The trouble is that there is nothing natural about death. When God designed creation it was perfect in every way. There was no death. Creation was designed to live forever. There were no cemeteries in the Garden of Eden. After the fall into sin, everything changed. Mankind had reaped the fair wages of its sin – that is why there is death. It is completely unnatural for the soul to be ripped out of the body at death.
This is where our God had to step in. Jesus was born into our world to live in our place. After living a perfect life for us, he died in our place, enduring the punishment that we deserved. Ah, but death could not hold him. On the third day, Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead and broke the cycle of life and death that had started thousands of years before. A cycle of life and death that happened so often it seemed natural. Because Jesus lives we truly have new life – life that lasts forever – life that cannot die.
The next time you see a butterfly float on the breeze or a fluffy bunny hop across your back yard remember that because of Jesus, new life isn’t just a sign of spring, it’s a reality that changes your outlook on everything. Funerals are no longer goodbye, but until we meet again. We know that loved ones who have died will hold us in their arms again at the great reunion on the Last Day. Your future is secure in Jesus. He says that there is a place for you with him in heaven. After all you’re going to need one. Your new life in Christ will never end. New life in Christ means that you will live forever.