The Leading Cause of Death


How many times do we hear statistics related to causes of death? Something to the effect of “heart problems are the number one cause of death in America.” Why are these statistics cited? So that we can avoid the problems that lead to death. If we avoid foods high in cholesterol our heart will be healthy and we’ll avoid dying from heart failure. If we avoid smoking, we’ll avoid lung cancer and live longer, et cetera, et cetera. The list could go on.But do we ever think about the best case scenario? If you eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, and drive safely you will end up in the same position as all the people who smoked, and binged, and drove drunk: the grave. The best case scenario is that we can put off death a little longer, but no one ever truly avoids death. We just delay it.

Probably the most talked about cure we would love to find is the cure for cancer. But let’s say we find the cure for cancer. What will happen to the thousands of people cured? Again ,they will end up in the same place as they would if they’d never been cured: the grave.

“Why be so negative?” one might ask. “We know we’re going to die, so why dwell on it? It does us no good.” As much as death might sadden us, it doesn’t mean we’re “negative” for thinking about it. The writer of Ecclesiastes addressed this issue: “Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things – do not all go to one place?” (Eccl. 6:6). We are wise to consider how death affects the way we live life, and the vanity it demonstrates.

The leading cause of death is not cancer, or heart disease, or drunk drivers, or any other physical path. Death happens because of sin. One of the reasons the gospel is the “good news” is because it’s the cure for every disease imaginable. While we pine away hoping for a way to cure cancer and delay death the cure for death itself has come. The blood of Jesus Christ is the cure.

And this isn’t just a spiritual metaphor. Jesus came healing the lame and diseased not JUST as an expression of the spiritual healing he provides but also as a preview of the physical healing of our bodies through resurrection. While our country discusses the pros and cons of healthcare for everybody, God offers eternal health insurance against disease.

There is something of a price to pay, however. It costs us our earthly-driven life. God simply asks us to die to the life that we will eventually die to anyways. We can make the choice to die now through baptism, and live eternally, or we can die not long from now and miss out.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:8-11).

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The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. — Romans 13:9-10 (NIV)

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