10 “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
In this season of Lent, we are particularly conscious of this death that is at work in us. We begin Lent by receiving ashes on our foreheads, the ancient sign of sorrow for sins. We are then admonished to “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel” or reminded “Remember, oh man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return”. The latter message reminds us of our own mortality; that our life comes from God. He has numbered our days, and we have no say about when we will be born or when we will die. Our spiritual life also comes from God, for none of us can come to Him without His grace. It is His life in us that makes us alive in Him. He is the treasure, and we are the jars of clay.
In turning away from sin to be faithful to the gospel, we also experience death. Maybe we have friends who lie, or gossip, or take the Lord’s name in vain, who act in selfishness and pride instead of in love, and maybe we do too. Maybe it would be so much easier to fall into sin, to act on selfish impulse, or in anger, or to lie instead of being honest, or whatever it may be that we struggle with. But as we become dead to these things, we become free to live the life of God, and allow Him to live more fully in us. As we resist the temptations to indulge our senses in the here and now, we take our vision away from the passing things of this earth that cannot bring us lasting happiness or fulfillment, and train our sights on the invisible God who is infinite and does not fail to satisfy.
18 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”