The Finality Of Death
There is a certainty in life that is not easy to accept. Death is the unwelcome guest in every home regardless of nationality, age, economics or health. Every generation passes away. All men die. Death is the most common of all factors of life yet the most common reality denied in the mind of man. There is an uneasy marriage between the desire to live a life full of strength and the haunting truth that death is near. The old must die and the young can die. Across the spectrum of ages, death takes the joys of life away in an instant. What is harder to fathom is the knowledge that death is final. There is no returning from the grave. Life once lived can never be lived again. As water spilled on the ground, there will be no gathering up again.
The certainty of death should teach us to number our days with the knowledge there is no return. Taking a journey brings with it the expectation of a return. This is not the case with death. Loved ones lost in times past will never return. We will all take the passage through the valley of death and never return. The harsh reality of death’s final decree should not frighten the soul but give assurance of what life is really about. It is easy to keep our eyes on the world about us with the assurance that true happiness is found in this world. Death is only a reminder that life is about eternity and we should not take stock in what we see about us. The tangible things of life are for a moment. Eternity is without end. All men will find themselves on the shores of an endless existence. There will not be a second chance to try life over again. When death calls the spirit home, eternity is sealed.
Jesus Christ died to live again. His message of the cross was not the harshness of death but the hope of life after death. He died two thousand years ago never to return as He first came but the joy of salvation is that He will return to gather all men to eternal life. This thing we experience called life is not the final happiness of man. True joy is found in life without end in the presence of the Almighty God. Death is the final chapter in the human story on earth and no man will return. The Lord tells us the point of life is to look to a world where there is no sorrow or tears because the finality of death has been taken away. Life begins in death and who would want to return? God has given us many things in this world to enjoy as the blessings of His hand. The apostle Paul reminds us there is no comparison to what is to come.
Death is real. It is tragic because it came through the hand of sin. The child of God lives with the daily hope of life after death removing the horror of death. There is no more sting in death and Hades has no victory. Death is joy because there is no returning. The wise woman said that death is like water spilled on the ground but the joy is found in what happens next. And that will never end. Praise God. Lord, come quickly.
We must die! These words are hard, but they are followed by a great happiness: it is in order to be with God that we die. (Francis of Sales; 1567-1622; Consoling Thoughts of, ed. Huguet)