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I am Living in a Land of Death

I am Living in a Land of Death

By Zach Bolen on March 28, 2013


Imagine walking down a street in a big city filled with thousands of people.  All around you is a sea of busyness and somehow in the midst of it all, beauty. You look up and you see the blue sky reflecting on the glass of the towering buildings that surround you and are reminded that spring is here.  As you come around the corner of a building that casts such a giant shadow that it blocks the sun temporarily from view, you suddenly have to cover your eyes with your hand because the sun is so bright.  

After your eyes have readjusted to the sunlight, you see a beautiful scene of newly blossomed flowers and tall trees covered with vibrant green leaves just across the way.  It’s a park, filled with people enjoying the landscape of what seems to be a perfect day.  But nothing about this day is perfect, beyond the beauty of creation that we so easily find comfort in, is a land of decay and death. The song “I am Living in a Land of Death,” tells this story, and the story is a devastating one, but not one without hope.  


“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12 ESV)

Adam and Eve’s betrayal of God in the garden led to a curse placed upon all creation, resulting in man’s immediate separation from God.  From there death would spread to all men, no one could escape it’s curse. Although unity with God was no longer present, God did not forsake His people altogether.  Redemption ultimately came through Jesus as he was the only sacrifice capable of crushing the sins of man by dying a vicious death on the cross, having his body securely buried in a tomb for three days only to rise from that grave, conquering death through His resurrection.


It’s a glorious light, one that darkness cannot conceal. The light has been both manifested in His people and in His word. That light is Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 ESV) As Satan seeks to destroy the work of God, we know that he will never have total victory.  When the Holy Spirit reveals to us that we need Jesus, our eyes become enlightened to the reality that the life we had a part from Christ was burdened by death, taking the beautiful creation of God and turning it into something that we held in higher esteem than the one who created it.  

The gospel gives us life while also opening our eyes to the sobering reality that we are living in a land of death. There will be much to be discouraged by.  Things that Satan will try and use to bring us to despair.  But take heart, for Jesus is with you, and His promises are more precious than gold (Psalm 19).  Out of total destruction has come a Savior who is making all things new.  He is our beacon of hope.  As people in Christ, we have been given the freedom to cling to the promises of God, rather than the the fleeting things of this world. Promises that we can both treasure and boldly proclaim to all.

Zach Bolen, lead singer of CITIZENS (Mars Hill Music)

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