“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.” – Yogi Berra
Everything that lives will die.
I was around the age of four when I first learned of this decay within this rock called Earth. My family was watching the 1939 Betty Davis film called “Dark Victory” – a film that is definitely filled with the narrative of death and endings. It wrecked me. I couldn’t get that film out of my mind, especially since it was some creepy looking lady who only appeared on screen in just black and white. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had vibrant colors! They brought me life! Betty? She had the visage of death all over her in my four-year-old eyes.
Even the young learn about death before they truly begin living. Death is part of the story in a fallen world. Try all you may, you will not live forever in this flesh and bone. You will die. It’s one of the few things in this world that I know for certain. Another thing I know for certain just so happens to be very relevant to the topic of death:
Jesus is life eternal. We were meant to live, not to die.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’” – John 11:25-26
We think about Heaven when we read this verse, because we look at the Scriptures through a Western Christian lens. “Where are you going when you die?!?!”, pastors often scream at the tops of their lungs, hoping to scare any lost souls into the pews the next Sunday. Others like to dismiss the ideas of hell, as if separation from God is a farce.
Reality is, we come to life right at the moment we begin to follow Jesus with our lives. Life isn’t merely in the future; life is in the here and now. Maybe that’s why Jesus said “and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” There are two types of death: spiritual and physical. In Jesus, I believe that we will live, even when our physical bodies run out of time. We live and will never die (even though we kinda do and kinda don’t die)…Such an interesting paradox of sorts.
The more I think about death, the more my heart is reminded to live for what is real, what is true, and what will last for eternity. The Scriptures call this the dwelling upon the “brevity of life”. Time is fleeting; life in the heart of God is eternal.
I’m not sure what you believe when it comes to Jesus, but I challenge you: open the Scriptures for yourself and read through the Gospels. Open your mind. Consider His words.
In Jesus, we’re invited into a story of life, not death.