"Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain." ~Isaiah 53:10
There's no denying that the world is rife with it -- war, cancer, abuse, accidents, natural disasters, famine, heartbreak. The list goes on all day and into the dark, dark night.
Death is the shadow beneath it all, the darkest darkness. Our destiny. My destiny.
A former Christian, current agnostic, was featured on a radio interview program the other day. You might have heard of him. He's written a popular book about Jesus. He says what finally drove him from Christianity was his inability to reconcile suffering with the idea of a good God. He's not the first one to say so. But I don't get it.
Now, that's not to say that people can't come up with reasons to question the veracity of the Christian story. But suffering? Christianity offers the only reconciliation of suffering and a loving God the world has ever known.
"The last enemy to be destroyed is death," proclaims Paul to the Corinthians. Death, our final enemy. All of our suffering is ultimately unto death; death is the real and only weapon wielded by the powers and principalities. But its destiny is destruction. Death's destiny is death.
"For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."