“I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away…”
More evil words never came out of a church hymn! Why should we celebrate death? Christianity is a celebration of life. Death is a reminder that life is broken and in need of redemption. If we should wish to celebrate death, then let’s be honest and sing a new hymn praising our savior.
Experimental metal band Meshuggah has just such a hymn. Their New Millenium Cyanide Christ maps out our path of salvation if our death is our goal:
I tear my worldly useless skin
Staples to pin it over my ears
Non-receptive of ungodly sounds
I disable the audio generators of fear
Hexagonal bolts to fill my mouth
Sharpened to deplete
The creator of all violence
Without speech there will be no deceit
Behold a sacrificial erase
A cleansing worshiping of pain
The new millennium Christ
Here to redeem all from lies
Is this what we worship with regard to this life? Or do we want to have what the Bible calls “abundant life”? We should object to death powerfully, but yet I find Christians have instead embraced it. Yes, we die to ourselves, but if we praise that death instead of the life that follows, then we have made for ourselves an idol and a corruption of the truth. Imagine: Christians bowing at the altar of death! Yet one does not have to imagine. The Cyanide Christ hangs on the walls of our churches.
If we are Christians, then move past the death into the new life which Christ offers. Christ died “for the joy set before him,” not because death itself is something which we praise. We live life because life is worth living, even when it is hard. Our hardship should remind us of that life which could be, and it gives us hope for what God will work in each of us.
Don’t just “die to yourself.” Live the life which Christ offers us in resurrection. That life starts now and will come to ultimate fruition when God restores all things. And that life which he offers us is a life of love for God and for all mankind. We cannot live that life if we are so concerned with our sin and the pain that this world brings that we make our lives into lives of death.