He was no longer breathing, but the [monitor showed a pulse.] ...The nurse said Dad was picking up Mom’s heartbeat through Mom’s hand. And we thought, “Oh my gosh, Mom’s heart is beating through him... [Mom] died exactly an hour later.” – Christina Ng, ABC News, Oct. 19, 2011

There are more than a handful of stories from around the world that tell of couples who were married for decades and died within hours of each other. Their lives were so entangled that death could not separate them.

The children of these couples are struck with wonder as they consider the death of their parents as evidence that neither could live without the other. Their deaths became one last act of love.

The Christian life is exactly this… well, except in reverse.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

At that moment of faith, when our fuzzy understanding of Jesus becomes hi-def and we decide we are all in, we are saved. We identify with Jesus as our Savior. In fact, through His Spirit, we identify with Him so strongly that we die with Him. We are crucified with Christ and live by Christ. Our lives become entangled – no, more than entangled. His life becomes our life.

It’s the greatest love story ever told. It’s tighter than tight. And it all starts with death.

Paul writes so that all will understand: Identifying with Christ isn’t part of the Christian life. It is the Christian life.

Lord, death can be terrifying until I realize that, with You, it brings life. Thank You for taking something shrouded in darkness and uncertainty, and making it the entry to light and life. Lead the way through death so that Christ lives in me. Amen.