Note: This post has been contributed.
Talking about the end of life isn’t a popular topic. But it is something that we must all face at some point in our lives, regardless of our current health or relationships.
But how should a Christian approach the end of life? What’s Jesus’s attitude to it?
Death Is Part Of The Scheme Of Things
Jesus’s entire life was essentially about his death and resurrection. For centuries, the prophets of the Old Testament talked about the coming of the new Messiah, somebody who would completely overturn the old law and establish a new covenant here on Earth. But, to do that, it was clear that He was going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice. All along, that was a part of the Father’s plan.
Death wasn’t the original intention of God from the creation account. As far as scholars can determine, death was not an issue in the Garden of Eden. However, thanks to the introduction of sin into the world, that all changed. And now we are dealing with the consequences of those fateful decisions made by our ancestors.
Redemption Is Possible
The good news, though, is that Jesus came to prove that death wasn’t some insurmountable hurdle. Instead, it was something that the power of God could overcome. What’s more, by dying, Jesus secured salvation for everyone, meaning that regular people tarnished by original sin could still live eternal life.
Many people have the idea that when they will die, they will go to heaven. But, strictly speaking, that’s not what the bible says. Instead, holy scripture talks about the founding of a new heaven and Earth at the end of time. People who are saved will be risen from the dead - not in spiritual form - but their actual bodies, and return in corporeal form. In other words, as a Christian, you may well receive back your twenty or thirty-year-old self. Or you may have an entirely different body altogether. We just don’t know yet. However, it does put a new spin on cemetery and funeral products.
Emotionally Approaching The End Of Life
Granted, you can know all of the above and still worry about your own mortality. Despite all the promises written in the bible, it is still hard to see the bigger picture around death, even as a Christian. You often get this abiding sense of loss and grief. It isn’t pleasant.
The trick here isn’t to let the suffering go or pretend it isn’t there. Instead, it is to do what Jesus did on the cross and have faith in one’s salvation. The body itself may crumble away, but the soul - or the essence of the person - lasts forever.
Being realistic about death means being more accepting of the fact that it is going to happen at some point. Preparing for death isn’t “tempting fate,” as some people like to believe. Instead, it’s mainly about ensuring that survivors are properly catered for. Paul says that the body is a seed that breaks the surface, like a plant, during resurrection. That’s something that’s always worth bearing in mind.