Key Scriptures: Lk 9:59-60; Rev 6:7-9; John 11:11-26: Jn 21:18-20; Phil 1;21-26 2 Tim 4:7-8
One day the Master was walking down one of the dusty alleys in down town Galilee. Deep in thought, a loud noise broke his contemplations. It was the wails and mournings from an approaching burial procession. He stoped and looked intently at a young man in the procession and his gaze stopped him dead in his tracts, discomfited.
Jesus locked eyes with the man and said firmly, “come follow me!” The young man,confused, stammered incoherently. After what seemed like an eternity replied lamely….
“Let me go bury my father first then I will come and follow you.”
Jesus unflinching replied with a stern voice …
LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD!
The man now totally confused and wide eyed looked around at his family members, the mourning party, and the coffin and blinked severally…..
“Are they they all dead ?” he muted.
Hmm! Many today are still so confused about death. They are oblivious of the difference between physical and spiritual death, and so cannot comprehend the state of being a “living -dead”…..
The truth about death sets our hearts right about living.
Death is separation from the source of life. It’s understandably not a popular “gospel” in the church today. In fact nobody wants to die even though everyone wants
to go heaven. Contrary to our belief the first death found in the Bible was neither the death of Abel nor the death ofAdam There was a death that preceded creation!…..The Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of earth was laid! This was why the angel of death could not press beyond the Blood at that first Passover night in Egypt.
Death is 3-dimensional : spiritual; physical and second death. The first man Adam, a living soul died spiritually at the fall and all mankind inherited dead spirits. Hence all men are born spiritually dead and all will die at cessation of their mortal lives. Being dead at birth, we must have a second birth to secure our eternal destiny from the second death: The Lake of Fire.
Jesus’s death put death in correct perspective. Just as Life is a person , Death also is a personality ( Rev 6:8) birth by the root Adamic SIN. The victory over death was won on the Cross when Jesus became sin for us. Death could not hold Jesus in the grave,his sting was lost forever. The Last Adam defeated death and secured eternal life in His Resurrection for man. Indeed, He was born as man that “man no more may die”(second death) John 11:25-26.
“Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
If we believe that bold declaration from He who is Resurrection and life then we will understand that Death is gain. Resurrection only comes after death. The irony is that the “gospel-good news”of death is resurrection.
Except a grain of wheat falls to the ground and die it abides alone.
Except you lose your life you will not gain it. It’s believed that the ideal salvation gospel should be preceded by an invitation to DIE-Death to self.
Seeing death correctly will position us to live correctly. We have been set free to serve God without fear , even the fear of death. Heb 2:15. We will not see physical death as the final end of man but as a deep sleep: a doorway to wake up to the eternal tomorrow. Jesus said-“ our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep”.
The popular belief is to glorify God with our lives, yet we can also glorify God by our death. (John 21:19) The martyrs are the trophies of such glory; Jesus gave Stephen the first Martyr a standing ovation. Nonetheless, blessed are all who die in the Lord.
Knowing death is not our final end, we must then set our faces as flints to work. The Father’s business is an urgent task that must be accomplished. So that when we are done we are excited for home. Like Paul who boldly declared
“l have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith… A crown awaits me …. To die is gain”
Seeing death correctly, we must commit our all to the Kingdom work force. So the living-dead will come to Christ and be saved from the second death.
Thank you Lord Jesus for the victory over death. May live in this victory such that at death it will a true
celebration of life on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.