"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Death

As I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago, today marks the one year anniversary of me going into the hospital near the point of death. This day is also the day when the call was made to have my cat, Alison, put to sleep. She was sixteen and suffering from kidney failure. I have had her for longer than any other pet I've ever owned, though a few come close.

Death is a part of this life. I don't mean that in some Zen way. Paul makes it clear that while Christians should not fear death. He says in Philippians 1:21 that "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (ESV). Part of what Jesus does to free us is to remove from us the fear of death:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15 ESV)

But that doesn't make death a good or a welcome thing. Death is the result of sin. Paul says that death is an enemy, and an enemy that one day will be end:

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:26 ESV)

Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, death will not get the final say. One day we too who are Christ's will be raised just as He was raised. What will it be like? The Bible seems to be intentionally vague on this topic. Paul says our new bodies will be as different from our present bodies as an oak is from an acorn.

I suspect that even most images that the Bible does provide shouldn't be taken too literally. How do you describe things that you have no categories for.  Earlier in Corinthians Paul says:

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9 NASB)

What awaits us is greater than anything we have imagined. What we do know is that in that place, God will be ever present with us. Today we see but a shadow and we have but a promise, i.e. the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In that day God will walk with us, but not as with Adam and Eve where He seemed to come and go. No, the Bible says then He will dwell with us. Whatever else accompanies that is like a cherry on top of a banana split.

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