Last month I watched a family bury their 27-year-old son who had died of cancer. Many thoughts raced through my mind and the first was this is wrong on so many levels. For one, parents should not have to bury their kids. I was harshly reminded death is so unflexible, so selfish. It takes who it wants, when it wants and never asks for permission. This monster visits every zip code in America. Death rips apart the tightly woven fabric of our relationships. Death is that coat that never fits right, so it just hangs there in your closet. Death is an amputation.
Why then is the inevitability of mortality so unnatural, so utterly devastating?
The answer, humanity was never created to die.
You were created to live, to live forever. This created design is why death is a kick to the stomach that delivers a life-long ache of the soul. Death is not natural because it comes from an unplanned experience for humanity.
Dying for a human is like an 800-pound gorilla performing in the New York Ballet Company. Unnatural, painful to watch, and an image that can never be erased. Though not planned by God, the gorilla will dance for you and I. The latest stats on Wikipedia are one out of one people die. This stat has never improved even with all the advances in medicine. If only a herb or supplement could cure and conquer death, then we could live forever. Well, technology will not overcome biology.
Studies say the average person thinks about death multiple times every day. Maybe we are spending too much time on the wrong question. What if the question was not how to live longer but what if we do live forever?
The oldest book in the Bible asks the question we all ask if I die will I live again? (Job 14:14) Be honest you have asked the same question. This is a worthy question because the medical profession has added a few years to our lives, but they can’t cure death. So I need a physician that can conquer this wretched beast.
A few years ago I read of a Muslim who became a Christ follower in Africa. Some of his friends asked him,‘Why have you become a Christian?’ He answered,
Well, it’s like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions, and you didn’t know which way to go, and there at the fork in the road were two men, one dead and one alive— which one would you ask which way to go?
He asked the man who is alive, Jesus.
In John 11:25-26, Jesus responded to the life after death question when he said,
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?
There is a great physician who has conquered death for all eternity. This Easter we celebrate not living a long life but those in Christ will live forever.
This Easter, do you believe this?
P.S. – Oh, the 27-year-old young man who we buried shared with me just ten days before he died that he indeed asked Christ to be his Lord and Savior. I am not sure what they do in Heaven for Easter but he is about to find out. And someday I will join him.