Death is like a… (Part II)

In Part 1 I suggested that death is more like a curtain than a cave.  That it is passage as opposed to a place.  I suggested that maybe our fears are rooted in the fact that we cannot see what lies beyond.

But I think there’s more…

I think in our hearts we sense that what lies on the other side is somehow more important… more real than what we now call “real”.   I wonder if in our hearts we suspect we are only dreaming and that death is a waking up into something more true, more powerful, more pure than what we are presently experiencing.

What if all our attempts at religion are rooted in this one, almost universal thought that, somehow what we do in the “hear-and-now” is impacting the hereafter.  What if there is an eternity and the way I treated my spouse and my kids and my 3rd grade teacher impacts what’s behind the curtain?  What if the light I face on the other side is the end of the proverbial tunnel …or an oncoming bullet train and which one is determined not by the roll of a dice but by the choices and actions I am engaging in right now?

…maybe it’s good to be scared…

But there is a writer in the Bible named Paul the Apostle who seems to mock death…

“Death,” he writes, “where is your victory?  Where is your sting?”

What made death “sting” – according to Paul – what made death so frightening was the fact that death puts us face-to-face with the God we’ve spent a lifetime rejecting.  The sting of death – again according to Paul –  is the fear of the judgement of God

…then he writes two words which I so desperately love in scripture, “But God!”

“But thanks be to God who has given us victory through the gracious work of the Lord Jesus Christ!”  Because of Christ’s forgiveness made available through His work on the cross we no longer have to fear death!   Death is no more than a wasp without a stinger for those who have been set free from sin!  For us, death brings not judgement but grace.

Curtain, doorway, gateway… death is nothing more than the passageway into eternity.  A doorway that Christ passed through and then walked back out!

This is why in His letter to believers at Philippi, as the apostle Paul contemplates death, he could write – If I live, I live faithful to Christ.. if I die, I gain!  If I had to choose laying down my life for the faith, or going on in service, that would be a tough decision.  You see, I long to be with Jesus… but there is so much work for me still to do.

 

For those who fear death… call on Jesus…

For those who are called by His name… there is work to do…

 

…just sayin’…

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