Biblical Perception On Death
THANK God for his written word – The Bible. Instead of speculations or some cultural belief, we can trust the Bible for its revelations on issues surrounding life after death. From the iLumina Bible Software, the Old and New Testaments talk differently about death. The Old Testament talks mostly about physical death and what it meant to the Israelites. The New Testament talks mostly about spiritual death. It tells the story of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, including his death and resurrection. It also tells us that because of Jesus’ death, all people have the chance to live eternally in heaven with God.
The first reference to a possible resurrection of the dead is in the book of Daniel: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ’s life is a demonstration of what death means, and his resurrection is a pointer to what is possible and what Christians must believe. It has helped us to understand God’s plan for all who died, are dying and would die in Christ. The essence of his death and resurrection gives us the privilege to become related to God and enjoy eternal life when we believe. Jesus Christ eventually conquered death for all people.
Death in the Old Testament times was seen and spoken of as a personal event but the New Testament goes beyond to establish that death is more than an end of a person’s physical life on earth. Because of Adam and Eve’s first sin, people were separated from God, and that separation brought death into the world. Every person after Adam has followed in his footsteps. The apostle Paul writes: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All people deserve to die, and once they commit a sin, they are no longer worthy to have a relationship with God. Because of this, in the New Testament, death is not just something that happens to people at the end of their lives. When the New Testament speaks about “death,” it is also talking about living a life without a relationship with God.
Therefore, death affects all parts of human life. Without God, all of human life is lived in fear of death, and anybody who lives without Christ is spiritually dead. The book of Hebrews tells us that the devil, who rules the world, is the lord of death (Hebrews 2:14). It is easy to think of death as a demonic power that ruled the world until Christ, the only person in the world who had the power to defeat death for all people, and finally conquered it.
Before the coming of Jesus Christ, there had been lots of mysteries surrounding death. Many people were in bondage because of death. But Jesus’ death and resurrection unraveled the mysteries. When Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, the power death had over the world was permanently broken. The New Testament describes Jesus’ historic conquering of sin in a variety of ways. Philippians tells us that Jesus became obedient to death (Philippians 2:8). In another of his epistles, Paul tells us, “he died for all” as a sacrifice for the sins of all people (2 Corinthians 5:15). By accepting a death he did not deserve, Christ broke the power of death for all people who chose to follow him.
• Prophet (Dr.) Abiara is General Evangelist, CAC Worldwide