Life After Death
Life After Death
Scientists say that humans are the only animals that are aware of their own mortality. That is, we know that we are going to die. And for most of us, it’s not a pleasant thought.
Why is death so scary? One of the main reasons is that death is the great unknown. People can speculate about how it is to die, but none of us can speak from personal experience. We have to admit that we don’t know exactly how death will be. And we worry about what comes afterwards. Is there life after death?
The story is told of an old country doctor who visited his patients in their homes. When he would go out, he would take his dog along with him, just to keep him company.
One day he went to visit a woman who was terminally ill. While the doctor went in with the dying woman, the dog waited outside. All the time the doctor talked with his patient, the dog whined at the door.
The woman was very quiet. She said: “Doctor, I’m afraid. I’m scared of dying. What is it like? What can you tell me about death?”
The doctor sat in silence for a moment, then got up, went to the door, and threw it open. The dog joyfully bounded in, leaping all over his master.
“Do you see this dog?” the doctor asked. “He has never been in this house. As he sat outside on the porch, he didn’t really know what was on the other side of the door. But he knew who was on the other side. His master was there. And all he wanted was to be with his master.”
The doctor continued: “I can’t tell you much about death and what follows. There is a lot I don’t understand. They certainly don’t teach you that in med school. But I can tell you this: I know who is on the other side. My Master is there. And all I want is to be with Him.”
While Jesus was here on earth, one of his best friends died, a man named Lazarus. Jesus went to the town where Lazarus had lived. There He met Lazarus’ sister, who accusingly told Jesus that she knew He could have saved her brother.
Jesus told her that her brother would live again. She said that she knew her brother would rise again in the resurrection. And then Jesus made a remarkable statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Christianity doesn’t tell us that much about what is on the other side of death. It spends more time telling us WHO is on the other side. As we face the end of our lives, we know that our Lord is life. It’s not just that He has life; He is life.
The last book of the Bible is called Revelation. It’s a book that was written for some Christians that were facing persecution, that were going to be in danger of prison and even death because of their faith. Jesus could write to them and encourage them to hold onto their faith even in the face of death because He had done just that. He had willingly faced death because of His faith in God.
What’s even more important, Jesus didn’t stay dead. He had died, but He had risen again. He told these Christians:
“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18)
I was dead, and I am alive. In Jesus, we have someone who can talk about death from personal experience. When He tells us not to fear, we can listen to Him.
Did you notice that He said that He has the keys of death and Hades? Hades was the place of the dead for the Greeks. Jesus had been there, and He came out with the keys. He can tell people: “Don’t be afraid of dying. I’ve been there. I’ve been to the place of the dead, and I’ve got the key. Death can’t hold you. No one can make you stay in Hades. I’ve got the key.”
I can confidently tell you that you don’t have to worry about death. You don’t have to be afraid. If you are in a relationship with Jesus, there is no need to be afraid of death. In fact, that’s one of the big reasons Jesus came. The Bible tells us:
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
He came to free us from that fear, to help us to live life without being dominated by the fear of death.
You don’t need to worry about what happens after death. You just need to worry about Who is on the other side. If you are in Christ, if you are in a relationship with Him, then your Master is waiting on the other side. You may not know what is one the other side, but you can be very sure of Who is there. And He holds the keys that will free you from death’s dungeon.
Is there life after death? There certainly is, and His name is Jesus.