It is such an upbeat, joyful song- as it should be, no doubt. Yet I have not stopped thinking about and wrestling with that first part: "We love you, Jesus - For so many reasons - For death and life and freedom". Really? We love you for death? Frankly, I don't often do this. Actually, I never do this.
This past week has been a challenging one as I remembered my aunt's death on October 27, 2007. Death is not something I am thankful for, not one bit, but David reminded me - as I was vomiting my frustration and lack of understanding - that it isn't death itself that we are thankful for. It is the end of life on earth that is reason to love Jesus. It is salvation. It is eternity in paradise that we celebrate. To be honest, I really have a hard time with this. Death is so, so painful, and I haven't brushed the surface of it in my life. Even through the valley of deaths our family experienced last fall, we were so spared. And yet- I still lay awake at night and sob over regrets and missed opportunities and loss and sadness and guilt and so much hurt.
Even still- death is swallowed up in victory. Jesus conquered even death to give us life eternal. And that, my friends, is reason to love Jesus.