His mind returns to thoughts of his father more often now, and with less pain. Perhaps the years have healed the wound – at least partially. He has lived his whole life at a distance since that awful day when dad said, “You are no longer a son of mine. You are dead to me.”
His life has been dead. A life dead to his father. A life without contact, without conversation, without proximity. Never again have they seen each other or heard each other’s voice. Their relationship became non existent. He realizes the awful truth now with many regrets – his life has really been death. Separation from his father had many implications he only begins to realise now. Death to his father was also a death to relationships generally, a death to his self image, a death to his way of thinking and even acting.
Initially he did not want to make contact, but as the years rolled on he tried to no avail. He moved house, he moved phone numbers, he moved email address. Death was final for him. Imagine life reunited with the father. Much would change, much would heal. This would be a new life. In a sense it would be moving from death to life as far as relationship with the father is concerned.
Jesus used this language to explain his mission on earth; sent from the Father to the lost sons and daughters in order to establish a new relationship. Alive in the world we are dead to God – we don’t hear him or see him. This is not the life he wants for us. Jesus came to give us life – a new life in relationship with the father. Jesus said he wanted to move us from death to life, even using the graphic illustration of bodies rising from the grave. For some inexplicable, amazing, mind blowing reason God wants to be in relationship with us – he wants us close, he wants us to know his love, to hear his voice to see his form. We don’t need to be zombies – the walking dead to God. We can have life with God right now. That’s why Jesus came. That was his message.