Getting Some Perspective about Death

We are all going to die and everyone we know is going to die. Can you feel that tension in the pit of your stomach when you read those words? We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to think about it. But death is an inevitable part of life.

We keep it at bay. We don’t talk about it. We avoid the words death, dead, and die. Instead we say things like passed away and gone on to a better place.

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It used to be that when someone died they were laid out in a room in your house called a parlor. Neighbors and friends would come to do viewing hours there. Eventually, a new business was started called a funeral parlor. Now you could pay to use someone else’s parlor instead of your own. Nobody has parlors anymore so these locations are now called funeral homes.

When you died you were often buried on the family property. When you used a cemetery it was usually at the church or in a prominent place in the community. Much of the community would attend funerals. Very few people come to funerals anymore.

Why do we fear death and try to stay so far away from it? First, it is so far out of our control. We don’t know when, where, or how it will happen and the unknown is always scary. Also, we don’t like any changes. We even have a grief reaction when changes are good. But death is the ultimate change. I think that another part of the problem is that death points to a larger reality. There are things going on beyond what we tend to notice and experience every day and that is difficult deal with.

Ultimately, however, I think we avoid dealing with death because it hurts. It stings. It sucks. It tears us apart.

But this is not the final word on death for Christians. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

[54] When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
[55] “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”[56] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, death stings. But death is also defeated. We don’t have to fear it or avoid it. We can deal with it and hope in the day when it is no more.

To hear my sermon titled Death, Where is Your Sting? CLICK HERE.



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