(14 July 2011)
"Let the Dead Bury
Today I am thinking about Jesus' statement: "Follow me; and let
the dead bury their dead." Matt. 8:22 Of course, the reference
is to the persons who are spiritually dead burying their
physically dead. We should focus our limited time and energy in
following Jesus, rather than worrying about the spiritually
dead. Yes, we are so very sorry they cannot accept Jesus as
Saviour and Lord, but what can we do except pray. We should not
be discouraged in our Christian walk.
I recently had the realization that I am truly a living spirit,
residing in a temporary physical body. It sounds obvious, but it
is not when the realization hits you as a profound reality. We
are not living some kind of dream. This is as real as anything
can be. It is so important for we as humans to understand and to
act responsibly for the entire soul and body and spirit that we
have been given.
Those who are spiritually dead are all around us, and we were
one of them at one time. They act like they are blind to
spiritual truth and scoff at the idea that they are lost
sinners. It is of course a serious matter, since the eternal
destination of their spirit/soul and glorified body is at stake.
There is nothing we can do to change the situation, except pray.
The Holy Spirit must be the change agent in the situation, or at
least the instigator of the change that will change the
spiritually dead into the spiritually alive.
I thought of an example of the type of situation that Jesus was
referring to in modern terminology and metaphor. Suppose there
is a commercial jet airplane at the terminal and the passengers
are boarding. The pilot enters the plane, the doors shut and the
plane taxis and takes off for its destination. It is so familiar
to all of us that it needs no further description. It is as
familiar to us in the modern world as the stage coach and horses
were to our predecessors.
Before loading passengers, the plane is pushed around to get
fueled and take on baggage. Then it is rolled into position to
accept the passengers. Until the passengers and crew board the
plane it is able to move around but hardly with the potential it
will have as an airplane. It is more like a truck. However, the
plane is not truly alive until the pilot is on board, the
passengers are loaded and the engines are turned on to send the
plane down the runway and up into the air.
The plane without the pilot is like a human being at birth,
hardly living at the full potential and promise of being human.
When the pilot enters can be compared to being born again, the
pilot representing the living spirit we receive as the Holy
Spirit comes into our dead spiritual being. To live with a dead
spirit is to live at less than we were designed to be. It is
probably an insult to the Designer who made us to be part of His
The passengers are like the physical body. I suppose the soul is
like the copilot and flight engineer, learning under the pilot.
The attendants (previously known as stewardesses) would be like
other components of the soul, the emotions and other managers of
the central nervous system in direct control of the bodily
functions and movements.
Somehow, to a passenger, the plane seems incomplete and lifeless
until the pilot arrives and enters the cockpit to take charge of
the flight and assume responsibility for the completion of the
flight to it's destination. In a like manner, a human being is
incomplete and spiritually lifeless until accepting Jesus into
his/her heart as Lord and Saviour. Then the flight of the spirit
and soul can take off with rapture/transformation to heaven as
the eventual destination.
Like the airplane pilot we need to be briefed before taking off.
We need to know the state of the plane and engines, the fuel,
and weather at the destination and everywhere in-between. Of
course we will also be aware that our flight will be aided by
many in the control towers, other planes in flight and
supervisors on the ground.
Our briefing is given by the Bible, and the teachers who have
worked to know what the meaning of God's Word is at every level
of understanding. Our Supervisor is on the ground and in the
heavens. As pilots, we need to stay secure and safe. The cockpit
door must be locked and our pistol must be at the ready in case
of trouble. Likewise, we need to have our protection as
Christians always present as described in Ephesians 6:12-18,
knowing that our strength and protection are invincible.