Recently death has been brought to the attention of many at MBC. The resurgence of fears about a second wave of the coronavirus has caused people around the nation to once again consider the reality of death. Since death is at the front of my mind this week, I thought I would pass along some truths about death I have been pondering. The Bible is the only source of true, substantial help when death hits home.
Death is an important part of our lives. Obviously, death ranks high on the list of the most significant events to happen in a person’s life. Though death is universal, few think of it as a good thing. Why do people chafe at the idea of death? Why is death not accepted as the natural conclusion to life? Why is it not viewed as the necessary making way so the next generation can go forward? The Biblical explanation is the only one that makes sense of the many questions surrounding death.
The Bible teaches that the foolish avoid thinking about death. Trying to ignore death or covering it under a veneer of joviality does not prepare anyone for the inevitable confrontation with death. Ecclesiastes teaches that the wise will consider death and everything that comes after this life ends. David prays, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) Wisdom does not shy away from painful realities. The wise considers what is coming to all men so he may be prepared when the time comes. Considering the reality of death reminds us this life is not all we have to live for.
The Biblical answers to death are not glib explanations for an unsolvable problem. The Bible teaches the origin of death. The Bible explains why mankind is unable to accept death as a natural part of life. The Bible reveals the animosity of death, but assures us we do not have to fear death. The Bible teaches people to look death square in the face.
The Bible provides comfort that can not be found any place else. This does not mean other comforts have no value. The memory of a long, well lived life can ease the sorrow of death. The anticipation of the end of suffering and disease can cause death to become a welcome relief. But this is not always the case. Sometimes death comes too soon and takes one before their time. Sometimes death is nothing but a sorrow. The truth of God’s Word is able to soothe troubled hearts in any loss.
The ultimate comfort from Scripture is only available to the believer. Jesus redeems those who trust Him from the power of death. The Christian’s comfort in times of death is the certainty of resurrection to life. Death for the Christian is truly gain because death brings the believer into the full reception of all the glorious promises of salvation. At the very moment death seems to be victorious, the Christian discovers death has not won. Death has lost. Christ conquered death and gives to His children the rewards of His victory. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)