new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Death—An unwelcome guest

May’s verse
It has been a week when, once again, we have had to face the intrusive spectre of death. When it is the death of a broadcaster who spoke to you in your own home or car every day somehow it seems more real, more immediate.

I suspect that the very nature of Gerry Ryan’s passing unsettles people because it was so ordinary—as I write this, the post-mortem results aren’t out—he didn’t appear at work, and was found dead in his home. It could have been us.

Once again we are reminded that we are more fragile and mortal than we perhaps care to think about. And although we are surrounded by death daily, there is something about it that should outrage us. We have to hold together these two realities: we will all die, and it is not natural.

Why do I say that it is not natural? Death is an intruder, an unwelcome guest in the universe. There is something deep inside us that rebels against its presence. We have a fundamental sense that this isn’t the way it is supposed to be. But is that just wishful thinking, a deeper echo of some primitive superstition that modernity hasn’t washed away?

The resurrection of Jesus Christ stands as proof of a life beyond the grave. And along with that, in his life he performed a series of miracles, establishing his credentials as the Son of God, but also demonstrating that he had the power to make things ‘the way they are supposed to be’. His resurrection and his raising to life of others are an indicator that death is not going to have the final say.

This month’s verse put it this way:

“Christ Jesus, has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” – 2 Timothy 1:10.

What great news! Death has been destroyed, the intruder defeated; life and immortality are available. It doesn’t mean that Christians escape dying, but it does mean that for them death has lost its sting. The Bible talks about all men being raised, but only some to eternal life, for others it will be to eternal punishment.

This month’s verse tells us how to find such life. It is through the gospel of Jesus Christ that life and immortality can be had. That ‘gospel’ is the good news that Jesus offers to take your punishment in total, so that you can have life the way it’s supposed to be on the far side of death. Will you accept his offer?