The topic we try to avoid

As you are all aware the Bali 9 ring leaders are in the news every day, slowly moving closer to execution. As I am watching this and hearing what people think, it has raised the topic of “death”. And not just answering the question should they die or do they deserve to die, or should Australia get more involved, but it confronts us with the fact that we all die at some point. So some people have said that “we all have to die somehow.” While others have said “death is just a part of life.” Going further in the conversation it was said that “death is a natural part of life.”

It is this last comment that has got me thinking. Is death natural? Should we all just accept it and let that be it? I would say no. No, death is not natural and we should not accept it, given the God we worship and offer he holds out to us. God doesn’t want people to die and has done something about it. In fact in the beginning people had the ability to live forever with God.

In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve (and their children) the tree of life (Genesis 2:9). God created us to live with him forever. That has always been his intention. But that all changed when we sinned. As a consequence for sin   people were cut off from God and the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). What is amazing and shows the love God has for us is, that despite our sin and rejection of God, God lovingly rescues people from death (that is eternal death in hell) back to life (that is heaven with him forever). Romans 5:12-21 says:

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned– … 15 But the gift is not like the sin. For if the many died by the sin of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! … just as the result of one sin was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

Given this, we can see that death is not natural but a consequence of sin. And we can see that we should not just accept death but take hold of God’s love and offer of life through Jesus. Although death is confronting, it is filled with much hope and joy for God’s people as they cling to Jesus and look forward to heaven.

Chris Forder

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