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Posted: March 20, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Understanding death

Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don’t mean causing death, just “death.” Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God’s truth: “…you are dust, and to the dust you will return” (Gen.3:19) “What man can live and not see death?” (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).

Death seems to have this obvious, inevitable reality, as difficult as it may be, we all have to accept our own mortality. So how do we deal with the subject of death? Let me suggest three things:

First, understanding how death came to be, will help us understand the hope when we get there. The Bible is clear death was the sentence passed on to one man (Adam) for his disobedience to God (Rom.5:12) Since Adam is the father of man, ever since Adam, every person born was born under sin (Gal. 3:22) and the result of sin is death (Rom. 6:23a). So death comes from sin, and as a result of sin.

Second, now that we know how and why death came to be, what is the hope we have? The good news is, while sin is a problem for every man, sin does not have to be every man’s problem. In other words, there is a cure for sin! (Rom. 5:17-21) tells us, that Jesus Christ is the cure for sin and death! “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:17)

So when we contemplate death, we must see it came from sin but was cured through Christ! This leaves only one question, is death permanent? No! We are eternal beings created in the image of God, therefore life continues after the grave which means if our sin is unresolved, the sentence of death (eternal separation from God is unresolved).
But through faith in Jesus, who paid our sin debt and died in our place on the cross, both sin and death are resolved. This gives us a living hope! When death comes to us here on earth, it simply changes our address from earth to the presence of God (2 Cor. 5:8) When this is our hope, we can contemplate death and say; “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:55-57)

Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at burnhamw@charter.net.

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