Nicholas Falconer

OPINION: Dead 'roos, radicals, and Jesus

ONE hundred and thirty one. All very dead.

The sheer magnitude of the roadkill on both sides of the Monaro highway between Canberra and Cooma this week was as tragic as it was eye-opening. The four boys sitting in the front seats of my coach were enjoying their impromptu game - counting the kangaroo and wombat carcasses - seemingly oblivious of the cost in damaged and abandoned cars along the way. And they certainly wouldn't have made a connection between the stark white cross draped in flowers on a bank with the possibility that someone may have hit a kangaroo, rolled their car and died. No, it was just a game to them.

Kangaroos are in plague proportions. Sometimes there's talk of culling them to reduce the numbers, but that inevitably stirs passionate protests from animal lovers.

Dead is dead - and physically at least, there's no going back. Be it animal or human life, we have difficulty with the finality of death. We do know that all created creatures must die sometime. But it's usually out there somewhere - not an ever-present, ever conscious reality until something happens to stir the pot. In reality, the symbol of that stark white cross beside the road is an intrusion - an uncomfortable reminder of mortality.

Jesus faced his own death with both resolve and confidence. He knew what awaited him - and it wasn't pretty. But he also knew that death was no more than a doorway through which he must pass in order to secure an infinite and incredibly sweet victory. That he would deliberately choose to die as the only vehicle by which people could be effectively reconciled to God and realise the spiritual wonders of a life-after-death, is truly amazing. It's nothing short of a miracle.

Crazed radicals blow themselves to pieces while praying that many innocent victims will be caught up in the carnage. But their motives are entirely human and intensely self-centred.

The Christian believes that in the life to come, we will enjoy a peace and tranquillity hitherto undreamt of - and all within the context of becoming lost in the wonder, love and praise of our creator God.

Yes, death in any form is something we don't care to think much about. But the truth of the matter is that beyond this barrier, at least for the Christian, lies a glorious and perfect spiritual world in which selfishness just melts away as something of no consequence whatsoever. That's a promise of Jesus I find incredibly appealing. And what's more, it's for everyone. The only visa we require is a commitment to love God and others. Unreservedly.

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