Death is the antithesis of life. In Revelation, God tells us that “Death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire.” In the third chapter of Genesis the fall of mankind takes place when woman and man both disobey God. God banishes them from the Garden of Eden, and will not allow mankind to escape the penalty of death until the Supreme Sacrifice is made, and time is given to all man to believe their God. Then we are told to look forward to a time on earth when the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, where the child will play next to the adder and suffer no harm, and where “none” shall be told of the Lord, for all mankind, from the least to the greatest, shall know him. Swords will be beaten into plowshears as a time of peace unbeknown to man shall abide on him. The “child” who dies at age one hundred shall be thought to be accursed, since the lifespan of even sinful man shall be extended dramatically.
When well-meaning but thoughtless people say about the death of their loved ones, “Oh, it is just the natural life cycle, and I know that, but I have a hard time with it anyway,” I cringe at their statement even while I try to offer sympathy. The sympathy is easy because there is so much empathy in each of us about the subject of death. Death shadows us all until it at last conquers. We empathize deeply with others losing their grandparents, or their parents because the same has happened to us. But it is only when we come to terms with the gospel of God that we see death is the enemy, the antithesis of what life should be.
There is nothing “natural” about death. The natural state was before the Fall, when man was in harmony with God. The unnatural state is to have to watch older generations diminish and die as they lose control of their bodies. So the position of the Christian should always be to utterly reject this awful penalty of death, for it is a curse, and it is for a specified duration, and it is to one day be lifted.
In our debate on health care, I wonder if it is we Christians who are causing much of the problem. It is our nature, the nature of life, to perceive death as the “last enemy.” Hence we reject utterly the offers of a peaceful assisted suicide, or any giving in to what is now inevitable: the march of death sweeping over mankind. Hence, we tend to support the “heroic” measures that Obama is against because we have such value in life itself.
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. After that, we who are alive and are left will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.” Death will be no more for we shall be with the Lord forever!