So is it possible to commit suicide, but have the outcome not be death, but rather a better life? Please bear with me on this one, though the premise may sound kind of wacko. To get to my point today, I first need to back-track to something I wrote yesterday (see it here).
“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” (Matthew 18:7-9)
As I mentioned yesterday, I do not believe Jesus intended for us to take Him literally, simply because the actions He proposes will not fix the true root cause of the problem. Sin does not originate in our eyes or hands; it originates in our heart and mind. Okay, so am I supposed to cut out my heart or brain, and thereby quite effectively bring an end to my sin, as well as my life? Did Jesus intend for us to commit suicide?
These questions bring me to today’s point, which is: I think Jesus is telling us to “spiritually” (not physically) cut out our sinful heart and sinful mind. Check out what else Jesus said, that I believe is relevant:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
What does it mean to you, to “deny yourself?” To me it means to turn my back on my sinful self, to not allow my sinful self to have sway over my life, to starve my sinful self of attention until it becomes so weak that in effect, it dies. Suicide of my sinful self; that’s what I believe Jesus is asking of me.
Another way to look at it was expressed by Paul, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6)
If you believe, your old sinful self has been nailed to the cross; crucified in the body of Jesus. He took your sinful self upon Himself, and along with Him, your old self died on the cross. If you believe.
And if you believe, then you are no longer a slave to sin. Did you realize that you once were, or maybe still are, a slave? That’s not life, that’s not living. Just ask someone who feels like they’re a slave to their job. But you can have yourself freed from slavery; just believe and Jesus will free you. And then you can begin to truly live.
Death to your old self, then a new life for your new self; this is what it means to be “re-born,” this is what it means to really live.
What do you think about all of this? If you’re interested, you can read about Paul’s experience in trying to deal with his sinful self in his letter to the Romans:
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7:14-25)
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)