Spirituality is like food and drugs.
Drugs can be mixed with food either by an enemy, as poison, or by a physician, as medicine. Either way, the drugs go down easier. On the one hand, the drugs bring death; on the other, life.
Spirituality is like that too.
Imagine sitting down to eat dinner with a poisoner and a physician. Both have had access to the same ingredients and both have cooked you supper. Two plates sit before you, identical in all outward respects. You wonder Who made this? Is it poison or medicine? If you eat the wrong food you’ll die. But if you choose wisely, you’ll live forever.
The food in question, parabolically, is our life on earth. In some sense, it has been drugged by both the devil and the Lord. Satan has prepared a sinister supper: death. But just as dinner is served, Christ has absconded the tray and swapped out the food. Death is still on the menu, but it is now accompanied by the dessert of resurrection. Satan wants you dead. Christ wants you to die so you can be born again.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. (Luke 9:24)
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
Satan drugged us with death, and Christ with life. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. The crucifixion was the first switching of the plates. Instead of Christ’s death being the end of our hope, as Satan intended, it was the beginning. Instead of it being the sign of Satan’s triumph, it was the moment of his defeat.
What God has done in Christ for us, he has now also done in us for Christ.
Dinner has been served, and it has been appointed once for a man to die (Hebrews 9:27), so eat and drink for tomorrow we die (Isaiah 22:13).
Just make sure to eat dessert.