After posting some Tweets about attending my friends funeral last week, I got lots of responses. So, I reposted a blog about my feelings about death called Eden Had No Tombstones. Well after posting it, I got this great article from a friend I’ve never met that deals a lot with the questions of death. I thought it was thoughtful and could really help if someone is confused or concerned about dying. So, she graciously allowed us to post it here. I hope it helps and informs you. Jennifer
I don’t deal with death very well – any death. As a Christian, I think I should be able to handle it better than I do. I am not afraid to die, but I do not do deal well with the death of others. I am, we are, diminished by the death of anyone. John Donne, a 16th century Anglican Cleric, wrote in his meditation XVII, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Lately, death has been a frequent visitor in my world, and not entirely welcome. With each visit I am more keenly aware of how it affects me. I don’t like death. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. Why would or should it affect me in this way? I have asked myself this question many times. And, it seems to me that as a Christian I would be less affected by it. But, as a Christian I think it bothers me because, as I read scripture, I have come to the conclusion that death was never part of God’s original plan for man.
Genesis 2: 8-9 says, “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in
In God’s original design death was not included. He planted the tree of life in the center of the Garden, then placed man alongside it. Also, in the middle of the Garden was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and God told them not to eat of the fruit of that tree or they would surely die (Gen. 2:17). When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, death was introduced into the world.
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned,” Romans 5:12.
So, since death has entered this world, it is inevitable. We do not get out alive. We must all experience death, as it says in Hebrews 9:27, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” There is no other way. We will all die, unless Jesus comes again in our lifetime(s). The conclusion of this passage is, “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of any people, and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (v. 28)
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the Teacher says there is a season for everything. In verses 1 and 2 we read, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die……” We have all been born and we will all die. It is inevitable.
But, that is not the end of the story. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 reads,
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
So, the question is not, “Will we die?” or even “Why do we die?” The question is “What’s next? or “Have you made provision for life after death?” Death is inevitable. It was introduced by one man Adam, because of his disobedience in the Garden. And, it was taken care of by one man, Jesus, on the cross. His sacrifice offers us the opportunity for salvation. “For it is by grace we are saved, through faith – and this is not from ourselves, it is a gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Judy K. Williams (reprinted with permission)