The sun is shining this afternoon as I write this, and I am very aware that my yard needs mowed for the first time this year. Even though we are living in this surreal time of isolation and confusion, those are just a couple of the things that remind me that “life goes on.” The world has not come to an end and neither have we – yet. I know what you are thinking – “Nord that sounds pretty pessimistic and depressing.”
For the person who reads the Bible, that is not being pessimistic – it is being realistic. I am not saying that we are all going to die because of this virus, and I recommend taking precautions to prevent that. What I am saying is that scripture is clear; we are all going to die unless the Lord returns first. Many are familiar with the words of Ecclesiastes where we read: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;” (Eccl. 3:1-2 ESV). The author of Hebrews puts it this way; “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, (Heb. 9:27 ESV).”
Death is inevitable. I appreciated a blog written yesterday by Carl Trueman, in which he makes the point that we are ultimately not saving lives, we are delaying death. Make no mistake; that is a good thing to do. Life is precious and whatever we can do to protect it is praise-worthy. I pray that the Lord gives us great success in our efforts to protect people from the virus and find a cure and/or a vaccine to deal with it.
We should, however, use these days to consider the reality that sooner or later we will die. Ignoring that truth and pretending that we will never experience death does not make it go away. It is like a student who decides to not think about an exam. If she is capable of putting it out of her mind and focus on other things it doesn’t make the exam go away. It just means that she will be unprepared when that day comes.
These days have caused many to be less active, and given us time and reason to think deeply. We can choose to sit in front of the TV and numb our minds. We can choose to continually read statistics and live in fear. We can throw caution to the wind and live as if nothing is wrong. Or, we can use this time to consider what we all face – death itself.
The Bible has very much to say about life that follows death, and what it takes to prepare for that event. I highly recommend a reading of the gospel of John which contains among many other things this statement: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn. 11:25-26 ESV). Considering those truths will bring great confidence as we live out our lives trusting one who has made a way for us to live in great joy for all eternity!