Death. It’s inevitable. It’s the moment that no one can avoid. It’s the common denominator among all humans. Death is something we don’t really think about nor talk about, and if we do, it’s usually about someone else.
For some people, the words I am going to die are so terrifying that they will sink into depression or become overwhelmed with anxiety. For others, the idea of their own mortality just never crosses their mind. No matter the reason for not thinking about death, there’s a need to deal with the problem of death and not run away from it, and thankfully, the Gospel of Jesus Christ provides a solution to this problem.
One of the clearest statements of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15, in which it states that the Gospel message is that Jesus died, was buried, was resurrected, and seen by others. It is no coincidence that within this same chapter we find that Jesus provides the answer to a fear of death, and provides us with a healthy perspective of death: Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?... Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. This same message is corroborated by Hebrews 2:14-15 in which we learn that through Jesus defeating death (by resurrecting), he has freed the people enslaved to death through fear. Through these passages, the New Testament writers are showing us how Jesus Christ provides an answer to the fear and anxiety brought about by death. From these two passages we can see that our mighty and loving God has overcome death in Jesus, has provided us victory over death through Jesus, and that our victory is manifested in our own personal resurrection. This personal resurrection is expounded on in 1 Corinthians 15, and the message found there is one of hope. Just as Christ was raised, so will we, and just as Christ put on an imperishable body, so will we. Therefore, just as Christ was victorious over death, so are we.
It is evident in scripture that the Gospel of Jesus Christ provides us with a healthy perspective of death. A perspective that concludes that not even death can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). A perspective in which we can boast of life eternal with our loving Savior (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). A perspective that is intrinsically encouraging, provoking us to live in harmony with our God and so also with one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:58; John 13:35).
With the ability to view death in a healthy light, we must be sure to do so—and not to ignore it.
Just because we have a healthy perspective on death doesn’t mean we can now go on ignoring our inevitable death. Jesus tells a story in Luke 12:16-21 that helps us see the need to consider (with some form of regularity) that we will not make it out of this world alive. He tells a story of a man who has a great year in his business, and with his profits he determines to seek greater profits and to ensure that he can live comfortably. The foolish part about this man’s thinking is that he never stops to think about how he will not have this stuff when he dies. He never stops to think about anyone but himself—including God. We can be this foolish man when we are forgetful; when we are blinded by our academic or professional pursuits; when we are blinded by the comfort we enjoy in our air controlled rooms on our comfy couches with our entertaining television. We are the foolish man when we fail to remember that we will one day die and in turn fail to maintain a relationship with Jesus: the only one who can offer us a solution to the problem of death.
We are blessed to have a loving God who never had to experience death yet did experience death to overcome it for us. The question to consider now is this: what will you do about it?
My hope is that you seek Him and wholly trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.