While preparing to preach this message last Sunday, I was forced to reflect on life events that have highlighted how much people fear dying! Culture has a large part to play in this. There are people with an annihilationist outlook to life… life and experience, consciousnesses etc., will simply cease when our mortal lives are snuffed out. For them, a philosophical approach is adopted, and they live life to the best of their ability and conscience. For the majority though, our own mortality stares us in the face, and brought even closer to bear when we are involved in life threatening accidents or lose a loved one suddenly. Funeral services cause us to reflect on life, and what things would mean if it were they, themselves, in the casket that day.
Yet, for the Christian, the person that professes love, devotion and the Lordship of Christ, the fear of death should simply not be present. While I concur that how our lives may end may vary, and may not be desirable, it is what lies beyond that final hurdle that should inspire us, encourage us and be the overarching influence. The Apostle Paul made this statement; “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. (Phil 1:21).
There has to be more to life than this! Surely, we were not made to endure the treadmill of life for the blink in human history that we call our existence. Setting His eyes on what lies ahead, the joy that was set before Him gave Jesus the strength to endure the Cross. Setting our eyes on what lies ahead, life in perfect relationship in the glorious presence of the Father should give us strength to endure this “mortal coil”. Let us then not look at the finality of physical death but set our eyes on Jesus who died that we might have life, and that life more abundantly, (John 10:10) with Him.