Today was a very strange day. Within three hours I had gone from standing in front of a half open coffin to holding an 8 hour old baby in my arms. I went straight from a wake to a maternity ward. An old person's life on this earth had come to an end but a little baby's life had just begun. Words of comfort one moment and words of joy in the next. I almost could not wrap my mind around the two extremes, so closely side by side. Life and death. Joy and sorrow. Light and dark. Is this how it's meant to be? Beauty and tragedy always intermingled. Is death a natural part of life?
At the tomb of Lazarus Jesus did not react with calm acceptance. He wept. He raged. How could the Lord of creation be angry at something in his world? As Tim Keller points out, Jesus could only be angry at death, if death is an intruder. Death is not part of the original design. Our most instinctive response to death is not resolute stoicism; losing a loved one inflicts unbearable pain. And pain is always an indication that something is wrong.
When we turned away from Life itself, Himself, everything broke. Our bodies, our relationships, this world. Life broke. And yet we all know, deep down inside, that this is not how it is meant to be. We weren't meant to die. We were meant to last.
If you really are the product of a material universe, why don’t you feel at home in a world where you die and disintegrate? Do fish complain of the sea for being wet? Or if they did would that not strongly suggest that they were once not purely aquatic creatures? Why are we continually shocked and repulsed by death? Unless, indeed, something in us, is not temporal.