Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
A great host of aphorisms call us to persistence. Don't give up this ship; don't halt before you are lame; hang in there; the darkest hour is just before dawn; while there is life, there is hope; always give people more than they expect; the expectations of life depend on diligence are but a few of many. This expression manages to convey the idea in three short words.
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said,“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.
While the Bible is full of teachings about perseverance, Jesus frequently says die. His own death is one of his most favoured teaching topics and he freely accepts his unjust death when it comes to him. He accepts defeat even unto death and asks us to follow him on that path. Without a real death, there is no resurrection. As believers in resurrection, Christians are invited to always say die and never to fear it. Jesus’ words on the cross echo Psalm 31:5 but have their own meaning being uttered moments before death and deliverance being into and beyond death as opposed to away from it. In fact, if you read Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death you may well be convinced that the “never say die” myth is at the heart of evil.