Essence of Death

By Julian Abraham Chua, Singapore

Death is often associated with the idea of losing. It is especially harder to swallow when it occurs to someone who passes on at a young age. From the perception of the living, it is often a waste to go so young when life has just begun. It is even more so when the person was someone who had everything in life going for him or her.

People also consider it a tragedy to die in good health, suddenly, when they are at the peak of their success. I couldn’t think of a better example than Michael Jackson, a universal pop icon who died in the wake of an upcoming concert.

In most cases, people are afraid to die because they are afraid of what would happen to them in the “next life”, just as they are afraid of other unexplainable phenomenon and taboos.

What’s more, when death is unexpected, in the unfortunate cases of murder or assassination as examples, we put the blame on God, using Him as an excuse and a target of blame. Most of the time, we can’t fully explain it nor can we fathom why such things had to happen but we find it a necessity to blame someone or something.

In truth, it was not in God’s initial creation order for death to exist. However, death as we understand it became a result of sin. Romans 6:23a says: “For the wages of sin is death…”

But that is not the end of the story.

Hebrews 9:27-28a shares with us regarding this idea of death: “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.”

Christ came and through His death and resurrection, crushed the curse of death and to those who believe He gave them the right to be children of God.

I still remember a pastor who recalled his young friend’s death years ago, he liken it to God walking through a garden of beautiful flowers and uprooting the ones that He liked most, to bring them home.

What a beautiful picture it is when we consider that God will one day pluck us up and bring us home with Him. No longer is there worry that death is such a waste for those who believe.

As the apostle Paul puts it succinctly in Philippians 1:21: “ For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”

Till on that cross as Jesus died,
the wrath of God was satisfied—
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
In Christ Alone, Stuart Townend & Keith Getty

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