Today I led communion for the first time at a church our Sunday school ministry was visiting. Let me know if I said anything heretical :)
Death is inconsistent with the very nature of God. God does not die! It’s not something He does any more than a farmer wears a leotard. As surely as Helen Clark would never wear a skirt, it is simply not in the nature of an Almighty God to submit to death. I have pondered over this many times and marveled at how God would volunteer His own life. He didn’t have to do it. He isn’t supposed to die.
But then I realized: neither were we. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and prior to being condemned (in Genesis 3) to return to dust they were free to eat from the Tree of Life. Provided that they didn’t so much as lick a single piece of fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were free to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They were intended for immortality.
God is a God of restoration. Although God has had to deal drastically with the human race before, especially in the time of Noah, He has never indicated that He desires to eventually ditch this universe and go with Plan B. In the beginning, God created the heavens, the earth and mankind as they should be and by sending Jesus, He gave His own life to make certain that at the end of the age, His beautiful design will be restored. He is not going to retreat into heaven with whatever He can salvage from the rubble of this earth on judgment day.
Our God is mighty! Our God is loving! And He has secured the restoration of all of His creation, including mankind, by sending Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.