04 March 2012

Only One Could Fully Taste Death

In August 1939 C. S. Lewis wrote a fascinating letter to his friend Owen Barfield concerning the incarnation. At one point Lewis said:
In Gethsemane it is essential Freedom that is asked to be bound, unwearied control to throw up the sponge. Life itself to die.

Ordinary men have not been so much in love with life as is usually supposed: small as their share of it is they have found it too much to bear without reducing a large portion of it as nearly to non-life as they can: we love drugs, sleep, irresponsibility, amusement, are more than half in love with easeful death--if only we could be sure it wouldn't hurt!

Only He who really lived a human life (and I presume that only one did) can fully taste the horror of death.
--The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 268

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