While Jesus was here on earth, He had to power to raise someone from the dead. Luke 7:11-15 “Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.”
We have all had someone in our life die. Perhaps we have lost a close family member such as a father or mother or grandparent. People die. Death is as much a part of reality as life is. We all should appreciate that unless Jesus comes back soon, we will all die. Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
Most people have a fear of death. Physical life is what we know and most of us want to continue to live. But death is unknown. What happens when we die? Is there great pain? Is there really life after death? Is there a judgement? Might I receive punishment for the bad things that I have done? So there is a fear of death. The Bible tells us about death.
We are told that the devil has the power of death. Speaking of Jesus in Hebrews 2:14-15 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Jesus Christ came in the flesh, just like you and me. By dying on the cross, He destroyed the devil. Previously, we all were in bondage to sin and in bondage to the devil and had reason to fear our death. Through Christ’s sacrifice we have freedom and no longer need to fear death.
What is death? From the world’s perspective, when a person dies they cease to exist; death is the end of the person. But physical death is not the end. John 5:28-29 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” Death can perhaps better be described as a separation. In the case of physical death, it is the separation of the spirit from the body. The Bible tells us that an individual continues to exist and will face judgment and an eternal destination.
The Bible describes multiple deaths. There is the death experienced by the sinner who is physically alive but separated from God because of trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1-5 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” Before we were Christians, we were dead in trespasses and sins; because of God’s mercy we are now made alive. Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” There are many in the world today who are dead in trespasses and sins and separated from God.
There is the death that the individual choses when he dies to sin. Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” This death is a separation from sin and the old sinful life when the person is born again spiritually. Romans 6:11 “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Then there is physical death when our spirits are separated from our physical bodies.
Finally, there is the second death of the wicked. Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9 “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” The second death is an eternal separation from God.
Here is what can be said about death. We were all at one time sinners and dead in trespasses and sins. As true believers, we have been buried with him by baptism into death to rise to walk a newness of life. Unless Jesus comes back soon, we will all experience physical death. But if we have overcome, we don’t have to worry about the second death. Revelation 2:11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
I encourage you not to fear death. Have faith that just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead, you also will be resurrected to be in the presence of God forever. 1 John 2:17 “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”