When you read fantasy (as I do) there are many different races. In classical fantasy the elves are gracefull and artistic, the dwarves are tough and inventive and all the races live long. But what about humans, humans are mortal. In the fantasy setting the great advantage of being human is our mortality. That hardly seems fair, with all the gifts given to the other races, we get death.
This comes through in religions with mythical immortal beings, there is an envy of our mortality and in many myths these immortals give up their immortality for love but also to be one of us.
And here we are most of us afraid of or at least very suspicious towards death. In the Christian myth death is the punishment (consequence) of Adam and Eve’s disobedience and following banishment from Eden.
The ones who critiques the Eden myth quickly point out that the whole setup seems rigged, that ultimately god should carry the responsability for the events that transpired in the garden.
Maybe they are right, what if we got death wrong? Maybe death is the gift that only the mystics and fantasy authors seem to see it to be?
What if it is really the brevity of life that makes us appreciate it fully? What if death actually is the gift of starting over or passing into an entirely different adventure? What if it is death that makes us burn twice as bright?
But doesn’t the bible state that the power of death was broken on the cross?
Well yes, and maybe that is exactly the point. Gods, love, grace and redemption shown as god loves us in spite of the cross completely disarms all fear of death. Because of the undying, never failing power of love there is no need to fear death or fear moving beyond the veil and into the open arms of the divine.
God is love, and perfect love drives out all fear. So as Paul puts it, death has lost it’s sting. It simply is the end of this and the beginning of the next part of our journey.
So death is what gives us urgency, motivation, passion and the ability to be deeply and profoundly present in the moment and so experience the eternal here and now. A gift indeed.