THREE HUMAN BIRTHS AND LIVES
TO THE GLORY OF THE HOLY TRINITY
God is one, a Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and He leaves His trinitarian mark on creation in various ways. One mark is a complete family consists of three. Another mark is the three births and lives of mankind, as follows.
The Church weds a new bride to her husband and in due time she has a new child in her womb. This child will be born in about nine months and this will be the first birth of a new person, a stage which every one of us has already passed through for it is a birth into this present material life.
After the nine months the child having gone through its first birth comes from its mothers womb. Before birth the child was without form and in need of its mother’s womb to survive. Gradually formation takes place and after nine month period the child emerges in the birth process, no longer dependent on its mother’s womb. The new born breathes from the atmosphere and eats and drinks foods externally, to maintain its life, for it is no longer dependent upon the mother’s womb for sustenance.
In holy Orthodoxy the time comes for holy baptism and the child is brought to the Church where in this baptism he will undergo a symbolic death in Christ and a second birth in the holy waters. This birth takes place in the baptismal waters being a symbolic death into Christ’s death, by being buried under the water three times. Coming up out of the water three times symbolizes Christ’s Holy third day resurrection, which for a new child and for all baptized Orthodox Christians a second birth and life. Following entrance into this spiritual life, the newly baptized is sealed with Holy Spirit who will become His inspiration and divine guide, who leads and protects him but does not violate his freedom. This second life is spiritual and nourishment will include wisdom, love and under-standing becoming his spiritual food and drink.
In the first life the body and soul grows and eventually reaches adulthood. There it will live by eating and drinking wholesome foods and drink. In this first life the child will mature and able to live a pure Christian life here on earth. This second life is a period wherein it will be determined what will happen in the third birth and life which takes place after a time, usually up to a hundred or more years. Death will take place but remember that in holy Baptism, the former baby died in Christ. Herein is the difference between pious and faithful Orthodox Christians and others in the world.
For Christ established death, a second birth, and life in His death and resurrection. He says much about His and our death as follows.
Christ says: “Amen, amen, I say unto you. If a man keep my saying he shall never see death” (John 8:51).
“Being in the form of a man, He humbled himself and became even unto death, even the death on the Cross. For this reason God has also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philip. 2:8).
Our Lord Jesus came down and was born of the Virgin, so as to prepare the faithful for the third and final birth into third and eternal life through the door of death. He completely transformed the nature of death for believers He removed the sting from death, so that death, instead of a threat, leads into the reality of the third birth and life. Death has always appeared to men as a threat to be feared and most men seek to avoid death at any cost for as long as possible, but Christ conquered and transformed it.
Christ the life of all men is both immortal God and mortal man. Suffering and dying on the Cross, and rising on the third day, He will never die again, for He died once and by His death He put death to death in order that we prisoners may be set free from the authority of sin and death. Thus we joyfully celebrate and sing: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.” In the victory of Christ over death and its authority He gives us our own victory, for through Jesus Christ, death not only holds no terrors for us, but has become the delightful door into eternal life.
Why Christ always anticipated the Cross.
“He spoke the following signifying by what death He should glorify God” (John 21:19).
“Amen, I say unto you, he that hears my word, and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say unto you The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live . . . Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in which those that are in their tombs shall hear His voice and come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation” (John 34: 29).
Life eternal is filled with unspeakable beauty and divine love which words are unable to adequately describe.
“It is now made manifest by the appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Tim.10).
“But we see Jesus who became a little lower than the angels due to the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
The unbelievers face torment. Unless we have faith in Jesus Christ and love Him with all our hearts, all our souls and all our minds we will be ranked with the unbelievers. Only attending church will be of no value, for our own action is essential. but without the Church we cannot be saved.
“But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake of fire and sulphur which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
Following birth from the womb, the second life and birth is from above into the death and resurrection of our Lord, this being a spiritual birth and life. The third birth and life is the glorious eternal life that will never end. Christ changed the nature of human death into a divine portal through which the faithful pass into the third and final immortal life, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no weeping, but life everlasting. This is the great and final divine Pascha!