Everyone knows what death is. It is when someone’s heart stops beating, and when they stop breathing, and when their soul leaves their bodies. It is when the Lord calls someone home.
Death is the absence of life.
Death is normal right? It’s a natural effect of being alive for too long, right?
Death is part of our world. But, it is not natural. It is not normal. It is not how it’s supposed to be. Death happens because of sin and the fall. God didn’t want death and pain, they happened because of us. Our sin.
But there is a plan. The Lord planned to send his only son to die in our place. He has conquered eternal death, so we could go to heaven. But death is still a part of our world, because sin is still a part of our world.
How grateful I am for the death of Christ, so that we can live in eternity with him.
But death is still hard.
Watching someone die will change a person.
I remember every single moment in vivid pictures. I remember every tear. Every breath. Every single long, drawn out moment.
I watched her die. It haunts me every once and a while, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else with anyone else. My mother, once an epitome of health and beauty. She faded, like a flower that had been cut away from its roots. She wilted, and wasted away to nothing. I remember every labored breath. Every movement. Every attempted word. I remember the cry of my dad, “Lord, take her home!” I remember the bolt of lightning that split the sky before she took her final breath. I remember helping my sister prepare her body for burial. I remember my dad cradling her head and weeping. I remember her in a coffin, kissing her forehead for the final time. I remember watching them lower her into a rectangular hole. I remember. These details do not go unnoticed.
Death is not natural. It is painful, even if it comes with sleep. The process is painful for at least the people left behind.
Death is not normal. It is ONLY here because of our sin. And because of sin, Christians usually look forward to death, as a sweet release from pain, and from a sinful universe.
Paul says; “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
So heaven is an amazing reality that we can look forward to. In heaven, there is no more pain, or suffering, sin, sickness, unkindness, CANCER. But in spite of this truth, death is still not normal. It is not how it was “supposed to be.” Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, and the Lord had to kill animals to make them coverings, but to also cover their sin with blood. This was the first of many deaths because of sin.
And the death of Christ was the only death that could cover every sin ever committed. By his death, he actually conquered death itself, because he is perfect in every way.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil,” (Hebrews 2:14)
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 55-57)
So how amazing is that? Yes, humans still die. But, we no longer need to sacrifice anything for our own sins–accept our allegiance to this world.
Death is not how it is supposed to be. It is a consequence. But the Lord used this most macabre of consequences to conquer eternal death, which is the most awful consequence of all.
Watching someone die will change your perspective. It will make you more aware of just how unnatural death really is. It will make you look at things in a more serious way. It will make you appreciate the people around you to a greater degree, as death could come at any moment. It will allow you to sympathize with more people who are going through deep waters, those who are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. And it will make you more grateful, more aware and more thankful for the death of the Lord Most High.