Joe Paterno, the legendary head football coach at Penn State University, died yesterday. He won more games than any college football coach in history- 409 games.
Physicians say the wiry man with thick glasses, who dressed characteristically in khaki pants, black sneakers, and a blue windbreaker, died of cancer. But it's not true. He died of a broken heart. Embarrassment related to being fired by the University's Trustees last November, 2011, took away his will to live.
I have no idea whether the Trustees did the right thing. My point is that people can will themselves to speed up the dying process. I have seen it happen over and over.
Jesus willed himself to die early. Both the Roman soldiers and Ponticus Pilate were surprised by Jesus' premature death. Earlier Jesus had said, "No one takes my life, I lay it down."
Make no mistake about it, when we lack the will to live we hurry our death.