Take a moment to look at the different pictures of smiling people above. They'll change about every ten seconds or so. The children and adults in those pictures are cute, handsome, beautiful. Many of these people were pictured in the prime of their lives.
We could literally upload billions of pictures of different people in our world today at all different stages of life and from all different walks of life. Newborns and infants, toddlers and schoolchildren, young adults, middle-agers and senior citizens. Many people would look completely healthy, like the people pictured above. Others would show the wear and tear of life and old age.
Your picture could be there, too, because you're one of us, a member of the human race.
But here's the sad reality of all those smiling faces above. One day they'll all look like the picture below.
|Simply put, death is no respecter of persons. It doesn't matter how good or bad you are, how rich or poor, how beautiful or unattractive, how healthy or ill. It doesn't matter if you're a man or woman. Your skin color and ethnicity make no difference. It happens to doctors and high school dropouts. Death comes to every person.
When death approaches, nice homes and flashy cars suddenly have little worth. Long-treasured possessions are quickly forgotten. Many people are willing to spend their fortunes for one more year, one more month, one more gulp of air.
Yet death still comes, sometimes slowly, sometimes all too quickly.
And one day you will die, too. You probably already knew that, but we tend to push those kind of thoughts to the back of our mind. It makes sense to do so. Death is ugly. Death is frightening. Death is unnatural.
How do you handle death?
Many people in our world have taken an age-old approach to death, "Eat, drink and be merry," they say, "for tomorrow we die!" Live it up while you can, they argue. But when death finally comes, they cling to life as long as they can. Life is so precious; death seems so final.
Others try to be brave in the face of terrible pain, and many suffer death's approach with great dignity. Still, even when given a chance to say our final good-byes, death is no party. There are tears. Often there is wailing.
Yes, there are people who "long for death," but that's because they are looking to escape the earthly pain, physical and emotional, associated with death. Given the chance, every human being would want to live forever if they could be guaranteed complete health and happiness.
Why does death keep coming after us?
Our modern world has seen many medical advances. Our life expectancy has grown in the last one hundred years. Some believe that our lives can been extended far beyond our imagination. Yet death keeps coming, every moment of every day of every year. Death is coming to you and me.
The Bible tells us that death is no accident. It doesn't just happen. Neither was it ever a part of God's creative plan. Our God created us to live, not to die. That's why we cling to life so tenaciously. God created us to live. Living is what we're meant to do.
So why do we die? "The wages of sin is death," St Paul writes in Romans 6:23. Death comes to each and every one of us because we don't live according to the blueprint of God's created order. He created us to be perfect, sinless. We are not. We resist God's will for our lives. We disregard his Word. We don't love him perfectly, and we don't love one another perfectly, as he created us to do.
Death is the natural consequence of sinfully rebelling against God's creative plan for us.
Consider this illustration. We all know that we're supposed to put gasoline into a car's gas tank. That's the way the car is built; it runs on gas. But if we decide to pour water into our gas tank instead, the car won't work like it was designed to work. If we continue to pour water into our gas tank, eventually our car will die.
That's what sin does to God's perfect creation. It kills it. We die.
Our big problem is death. We can't escape it by ourselves. We are helpless in its track. It gets each and every one of us, because each and every one of us sins. It's that simple and yet that serious.
But Jesus has the one, perfect answer to our sin and death. Click here to find out about it.