Paul the Apostle wrote quite at bit about the death of Jesus Christ. Many people (who care to wonder about such things, LOL!) think he referred to the physical death of Jesus and his supposed separation from the Father. That’s pretty unuseful to anyone but theologians. Paul wasn’t writing about physical death on a cross or separation from God, but something fundamental that we participate in–or should, anyway. Besides, how can the Christ “die?” Riddle me that, preacher.
I suspect that the willingness to face realities that take us beyond our hope, knowing that there is hope we’re unaware of nonetheless, is an element of the death of Jesus Christ. The “death” isn’t a separation from God or from life but from the security of the known; a step we take connected with life, trusting God, into the darkness of what we have yet to learn. We refuse to let the limitations of our meager hopes stop us. God is much greater than our hearts and our hopes. Like Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, hope that is seen is not hope. Abraham believed in hope against hope: hope in God against any hopes that made sense to him at the time as he contemplated–not denied–his own body, “now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”
When we face “impossibilities,” we need to check whether they are truly impossible or just beyond our limited grasp of what’s possible. Just because we see no answers or even no hope for an answer doesn’t mean that answers aren’t available or that hope is baseless. None so far as we know is not the same as none at all. Going through a veil that obscures answers and hope from where we stand puts us in contact with information that invariably leads us closer to both answers and hope that are new, even formerly inconceivable, because then we’re standing on the other side and can see what was hidden. In other words, we opened the occult to scrutiny, shining light in its darkness.
The veils we need to go through are fears that threaten us with death on the other side. For fear of death (whatever it consists of–pain, loss, humiliation, abandonment, permanent injury, physical death, etc.,) we can be strongly tempted to stop and not go through, even to turn away, avoid, and deny the veils and what they hide. The message of the story of Jesus Christ is that no death on the other side can hold us, because it isn’t slightly close to a match for the power of life afforded by what we find there.
Every advancement in human capabilities–large, small, on any scale–comes through people going through veils of fear to face what’s on the other side; and everyone who goes through a veil finds out that the other side is very different from what they anticipated. Of course it is, because until we go through we’re working with imagination and myths, not facts. Once through, the facts we find are powerful. I think this is why Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability shows that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
I’m finding the same thing about trust itself, the precondition for vulnerability. Trusting doesn’t make you “vulnerable” in the sense of more open to injury or damage. It actually enables you in ways that you only read about in stories, except that it’s not fantastic–it’s real.