“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
One of the most difficult things to deal with in life is death, even for the Christian. Because of the obvious nature of Death, there is an Existential Death Anxiety, usually characterized by a "feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude, particularly when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to 'be'". This stems from the natural knowledge that human life must end sometime and that once death comes all is finished. As a result, the question - "Is death the end?" remains buried in the heart of every man.
On Jesus’ visit to Lazarus’ sisters in John Chapter 11, Jesus answered this agelong question that Death is not the end for the believer. He said, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” This statement assures us that there is hope for the believer even in Death. It tells us that Death is not the final word concerning our life.
Jesus our Saviour, on the occasion also identifies Himself as the resurrection and the life, the Source of everlasting life. The claim which the accounts of Lazarus being brought back to life from the dead after four days and that of His victory over death on the third day validate. Our Jesus has authority over Death. Peter in his sermon in Acts of the Apostles 2:24 said “…it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.”
The understanding we get from this is that death is absolutely nothing to fear. We do not have to live in terror of death or carry the burden of sorrow like those who have no hope. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! His resurrection is the assurance of our own. Faith in His birth, cross and resurrection provides us with hope in life and hope in death. The Psalmist caught this revelation and said in Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…”. Even though nothing will change the fact that people die it is certain that death cannot overpower us. Apostle Paul affirmatively says, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” 1Thessalonians 4:13-14.
Unlike they that do not believe, the Christian has a blessed hope in Death – that is the return of the Saviour Jesus to catch up His Church and bring them to eternal life with Him and God the Father in Heaven. So, we conclude Death for the believer is not a venture into the unknown, or a strange or alien atmosphere, it is like going home - even more wonderful than that because it is a home in God’s presence.
As we await His second coming, let us look for this blessed hope by believing absolutely in Jesus Christ’s redemptive work now and holding on to it by living worthy of our new status in Christ and by remaining conscious that nothing – not even death can pluck us from His hands.
I pray that our hope in life and in death shall not be dashed in Jesus’ name.