Most people probably read this title and thought the author was crazy. Death is the end, they think. They abhor the thought of it and avoid mentioning it.
“If I say the word, it might visit me.”
In Christ, we can embrace death. No, I’m not saying we should wish for death. Instead, we should have a calm understanding of it. And never fear it.
After all, Christ made death the pathway to new life. Real life. Eternal life.
In the beginning, mankind disobeyed and paid the price: death. Since that time, every person born mounts that slippery slide – which ends at the grave.
One Death for All
Since Adam’s sin condemned all of us to death, it seems only fair that one man could also pay the ultimate price for sin. That’s what Jesus Christ did.
If you look at the Old Testament, there are a multitude of sacrifices required to keep a right relationship with God. That’s because the life is in the blood and blood is required to atone for sin.
Then came Jesus. He was born in Bethlehem from the womb of a virgin. He lived a life without sin. For that, he was crucified.
“But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice (himself) for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).
No more bulls, goats and sheep are required to shed blood to atone for the sins of mankind. Jesus took the sins of the world upon himself – and freely offered his own life in payment for their penalty.
Resurrection Seals the Deal
Of course, if the story ended at the cross, it wouldn’t give us much hope for the future. Yes, the price of sin was paid on Golgotha, but what does that offer for the future?
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Even the Apostle Paul realized our current life was temporal. If Jesus’ death didn’t offer a future hope, how did it help us?
“But now is Christ risen from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20) so our hope extends beyond the grave. No longer do we have to worry about death. It’s power is trampled beneath the shed blood of Jesus.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:21
Since Jesus rose from the dead, we know he has the power to grant us eternity. Life dididn’tnd at the grave for our Lord, and if we accept his offering on our behalf, the grave has no hold over our future either.
Our Death leads to Life
The first two points are about spiritual life. Which is great. Fantastic. But we are born in a physical world with a body of flesh.
And death is in our flesh.
So we have to shed this physical body before we can claim the promise of eternal life. Yes, I could talk about the new life we are supposed to live once we’re redeemed (Romans 6:4). But that’s not the point of this post.
Physical life is finite. Most people find it doesn’t last long enough. When the time comes to pass to the other side, they regret things they’ve left undone. My own mother wanted to stay to watch her grandchildren get married and have kids. God had a different plan.
In order to grasp eternal life, we must die. This physical body must be left behind so our soul and spirit can be carried into the bosom of God.
In essence, we must die in order to live. Really live. Live in a perfect body that won’t ever decay. Bask in the light of our Lord’s presence.
See? Death isn’t such a bad thing after all. Not if you’ve accepted Christ’s payment on your behalf.
Next week – Three things to do when Life gets you down