4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
I'm not sure what has been keeping you busy lately but on top of being a pastor and a dad etc... we've been planting the garden. The potatoes we had left from last year's harvest are almost all in the ground now. They will die so many others can live. When Jesus came He knew why He was here. He carried with Him every day the knowledge that He would die. His death served two primary purposes. It satisfied the penalty for sin and it demonstrated the truth that God is love. When Heaven went that far to save us all doubt was removed that God was anything but love.
However there is something different Paul is talking about here. It's a different kind of death. It connects back to the man in Corinth they wouldn't forgive. They wouldn't forgive him because their pain was more important to them than his recovery.
That's the death Paul is talking about, the death of self. Jesus demonstrated every day of His life here that others were more valuable to Him than His own comfort, desires, or even His personal safety. He went to dangerous places and confronted dangerous people all for the sake of others. He was dead to self but alive toward others. Their needs were the very best of His heart.
Paul was trying to explain that this same Spirit of self-sacrifice beat in Him for their sakes. Death was working in him and his companions so that they could bring life to others. This is the Spirit of Christ. This is the essence of love. This is true living.