From the moment of one's birth, life is one, brief, downward slide toward death. [There's a lead-in sentence that will suck in the masses.] We carry around within us, even in our happiest moments and most-thrilling adventures, the shadow of mortality.
But surprise-surprise...that's a good thing. "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?" (Romans 6:3-NIV)
It's not just death-in-general that's "a good thing," but the really, really good thing is being identified with...having a connection to...the death of that Galilean carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. His sacrifice on my behalf pays the debt he did not owe...the debt I could not pay. I reflect that in my life by laying aside my "me first" attitude.
But wait! That's not all!
Just as with Jesus, death is not final, but leads to a whole new way of living. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Galatians 2:20-NASB)
Truth is...Galatians 2:20 is not only a wonderful truth, but an inspiring challenge that echoes what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." (NIV)