Death

11 Dec
Death is an unpleasant subject. Unless one is in the “death” business (mortuaries, cemeteries, tombstones, etc.), he doesn’t like to talk about it—much less reflect upon his own demise.

Death has had a bad reputation throughout human history. It was pronounced as a penalty for Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17), and all human beings (with the exception of Enoch and Elijah) have picked up the “tab” as well (Romans 5:12).
Eventually everyone will die, with the exception of those who are alive at the time of Christ’s return (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:15).
Bildad, Job’s friend, depicted death as the “king of terrors” (Job 18:14). A psalmist wrote of the “terrors of death,” and in connection therewith spoke of pain, fearfulness, trembling, and horror (Psalm 55:4). Even a New Testament writer tells of the “fear of death” that held all people in bondage prior to the redemptive work of Christ (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Exactly what is death? From the physical vantage point, death is the cessation of the biological functions of the body, with a subsequent disintegration of the flesh back to the dust of the earth whence it came originally (Genesis 2:7; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:7; 2 Corinthians 5:1).
Death is the release of one’s spirit from his body. At the point of death, the spirit (or soul), leaves the body (Genesis 35:18; James 2:26), and enters the appointed depository of spirits, the state of which depends upon the relationship of the deceased with God and his Son (cf. Luke 16:19ff). But the spirit does not fade into a lifeless nothingness.
Death is a sphere of consciousness. While death is sometimes described as a “sleep” (Daniel 12:2; John 11:11; 1 Corinthians 15:6ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff), that expression applies solely to the temporary state of the body — not the soul.
The state of the spirit for those who die lost is one of “torment” and “anguish” (Luke 16:24-26), while the condition of the righteous is one of “comfort” (Luke 16:25). This is a state of “gain” that is “very far better” (Philippians 1:21-23) than the fairest scenes of earth’s environment. To be absent from the body is to be “at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8), in a state of celestial “blessedness” (happiness – Revelation 14:13).
The dogma of “soul sleeping” is foreign to the Scriptures, though occasionally advocated by misguided professors of Christianity.
Death is a temporary phenomenon of the body. Even in its morbid disposition in the dust, it awaits the day of resurrection.
The concept of the bodily resurrection is found in both Testaments — though it is more prominent in the latter, since “life and immortality” have been brought into fuller view through the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:10).
Daniel spoke of the resurrection of both the wicked and the faithful (Daniel 12:2), as did the Lord Jesus (John 5:28-29). Clearly, there is a destiny for both body and soul — hell for the wicked and heaven for the obedient (Matthew 10:28; 25:46; Mark 9:43-48).
There is a curious oddity in Hannover, Germany. A defiant atheist had his tomb covered with huge blocks of stone, bound with iron bands. There is this inscription: “This tomb is purchased for eternity; it will never be opened.”
Strangely, a poplar seed somehow was enclosed in the dark mold. Eventually, a mighty tree sprang up; it burst the bands asunder and moved the stones, as if waving leafy arms in defiance of the godless boast carved upon the marker. I have a photograph of the tomb with the protruding tree.
If a tiny seed can exert such force, think of the phenomenal demonstration, as the Creator of that seed demonstrates his power and all graves are opened.
We approach death with mixed emotions. We are grieved at the thought of leaving work undone and precious family behind.
On the other hand, for the child of God there is the tingling anticipation of being escorted by angels (Luke 16:22) into the blessed presence of Him who died for us, that we might be forever with the holy Godhead, the angels, the faithful of the ages, and our own loved ones who have died in Christ!
More:
Death has always been referred to as something bad, dark, and scary, something that is not to be spoken about, but something that will come to each one of us. But right now, no one wants to really talk about it. Death is an event which almost everyone on this earth fears deeply. In a way, our fears are perhaps justified, for we have seen people suffering before their death, and we have seen people who have been left behind by the dead in grief and turmoil. We have seen that death is something permanent, something that is irreversible, and as yet, no one has ever been able to crack the mystery called death, nor has anyone been able to come back after death, to tell us what happens after one dies. 
So, what is death? We really don’t know. And when we don’t know, we are scared. In our heart of hearts, when we see someone dying, possibly we are seeing our own death. Even seeing the funeral procession of an unknown person is enough to make the strongest amongst us cringe and worry. Any death around us immediately brings to focus the fact that life is transient, impermanent, and eventually everything that is born has to die. 
Knowing this, our mind seeks refuge in our favourite philosophies or beliefs, religious or otherwise. While someone believes he will go to heaven, another believes that he will be re-born to a better life, perhaps. Some place their trust in karma and destiny. Most of us believe that if we do good deeds, think good thoughts and pray to God, we will be spared the agony of old age, disease and death, and will be taken care of, after death. In spite of all our beliefs, however, most of us know that we really don’t know what death is, or what will happen to us. 

When death is so mysterious, inexplicable, strange and unknown, it can become something akin to an adventure. Any adventure, expedition or mission, whether into the wilderness, to the South Pole or into space, is thrilling because we are getting into something that is unknown. In a similar way, instead of being scared of our impending deaths, instead of resorting to all sorts of measures to cover and hide these fears, one can try and look at death as something that is both inevitable and also as something that is mysterious, something which no living being knows about. Yes, it does mean that our life, our activities, our relations, our assets – everything that belongs to us here, will not be with us. But instead of worrying and getting scared, can we not accept the inevitability of death, like we would enter into a new adventure? Since we have complete power over what we think and what we believe, why not think and believe that death is going to be the biggest adventure, that we would have ever experienced? Irrespective of what death may actually be, if we could simply take it as given, we will at least live our life here without fear and stress. And that itself will make us live our life so fully and completely that when death comes, we will hopefully have no regrets, no unfulfilled desires, no complaints, and will be willing to accept it happily and with peace. 

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