Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Not usually one to turn to the comic books for spiritual guidance, I recently finished reading Who Needs a Superhero? by a pastor friend of mine, Mike Brewer. His book tackles the intersection of the Gospel and the comic book in a way that is gentle and wise.
One of the featured superheroes is Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Originally an intrepid reporter (weren’t they all in the 1940s?), The Spirit started life as Denny Colt. Running afoul of a real mad scientist, Colt finds himself very much dead and buried in the family vault. But the end is not written, for the very means of his death is also the means of his rebirth. Made alive again by the very thing that killed him, Colt decides he has an opportunity that no one gets—the chance to live a reborn life dedicated to righting wrong completely free of the trappings of being tagged and labeled by the world. And so his quest begins, this legally-dead man taking on the scum of the earth, now more alive than he ever was.
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
In our modern age composed of so much hustling and fighting to get to the top of the heap, the cross speaks of dying to self. Satan can easily put down a man who lives to himself, but a dead man cannot be opposed. When we die at the cross, we are given the opportunity to be unhindered. It is the way we were meant to be. God knows that we can more fully live if we have died to “the elemental spirits of the world.”
Not everyone takes the opportunity to die at the cross and be freed from the power of the world. Far too many die in their sins, mummified and bound. I hear infinitely more messages calling out to us to live for ourselves and only one that says,
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Today, let us come to the cross that we might die and by the Spirit of the Lord be made alive again.