Death is a topic on everyone’s mind, although there is an illusion it is not. There are a few questions lingering in our minds a voice that ask us the question, “What happens after we die? The other question and mystery that plagues us is: what is death. Well, let us take a look into that mystery?
To begin we will look at Jesus response to a disciple who ask him for leave to go and bury his dead father, and what we will discover is there are many ways in which we can position the word death, which may differ its true meaning. But once we break apart the words spoken by Jesus we will see the light of the word and what it means to be dead.
Jesus said to one of his disciples, “Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go you and preach the kingdom of God”.
The point her according to this scripture is the importance of the kingdom over human desires, and plans. The souls of men are important, and as employees in the kingdom, the message of salvation to the world should be our main and greatest focus. But why did Jesus reply to the disciple, “Let the dead bury their dead?”
Can the dead bury their own dead; can a dead man perform works of caring for its own dead? No, so what was he talking about. To the English Christian mind it is often times hard to get a good grasp on the word dead, as for some, it means to die losing conscientiousness forever, for others there is an eternal place of punishment where conscientiousness lives. Many have debated the subject for some time, and today in the atheist’s arena death is the final end without consequences; therefore, for them there is no need for a God, or a need to answer to a God.
On the Part of the believer, death is not simply to die, it is to be separated from God for eternity; it is to burn in a lake of fire forever. But there is another side to the eternal question of things, will God really allow man to suffer in a burning hell for-ever? But to answer the first question, “Can the dead bury their own dead?” we know clearly this is not possible. Jesus by making this statement to his disciple, was pointing to the death that Adam experienced in the garden at his fall. Death then is not to die as in the biological sense, it is to be separated from God’s presence.”Cain said to the Lord, Genesis 4:13“My punishment is more than I can bear” why? :14 “Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence” and result — “I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Cain knew he was left to the will of his enemies, and that without God’s presence he was in darkness and confusion.
In the garden, God told Adam the day you eat from that tree you shall die, Adam disobeyed along with his wife, and the scripture told us they came to the realization they were naked. Was this nakedness the experience of death that Jesus spoke about? As we can clearly see Adam and Eve did not literally die the very day they ate from the tree, rather they died later on.
So, this leads us to ask the question, what then is death? And looking at Jesus’ response to the disciple who ask for leave that he might bury his father, we can see that death is not to only pass from this life, it is to be separated from God our life giver. Although we are alive, we can be in every sense of the word dead, and the reason lies in the fact that we are a biological creation bound together with a soul. What this means is that we are dead bodily, but alive in the spirit.
Biologically we are Adam meaning dust, Gene 2:7. It was not until God breath his life giving breath in dust did dust came a living being. Adam, dust was formed, but without the breath of God he had no life in him. When God breathe life in man he became a living being; therefore we find Jesus proclaiming himself to be God when he made the statement: “ For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself”. John 5:26
19“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” 1 Kings 17:19-21. Another way this is read in Hebrew is: “My God, please let this boy’s breathe return to him”.
So, here we see Genesis 2:7 and 1 Kings 17 and verses 21 agreeing, when we come to the word life, showing to die means not having the breath of life within. So, man without the breath of God is dead, his soul depends on the life of God to live. Without the life of God living in his soul Adam is dead; therefore, at his creation, in-order for Adam to live, God breathe his life giving breath in man. Job 33:4“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life”.
“Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”. Gen 2:7, Man lives because of God, so when Jesus made the statement, “Let the dead bury their dead”, He was in every word saying, let the lost, those without the living spirit bury their dead, those from whom God’s breathe has departed. The un-revived life:
Death then is to die when the spirit of God departs from us, “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years”; as it is also to die in the biological sense because our souls are separated from the saving grace of God through Christ.
Adam did not die the moment he ate from the tree, but rather he was dead as a result of the lost of God’s glory, and living eternal presence, which resulted in the physical progression of death; which comes later as a result of judgment. After death, came the promise from God to Adam, that despite his fall God would restore his life in the resurrection. Although he Adam will die, his soul will rest in the hope of Christ until the day his life breathe returns to his dusty body. Job 19:26 “And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” How will this be possible if his flesh is destroyed? How will he see God in his flesh?
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
Isaiah speaks of the world of the dead
Isaiah 30:33 “For Topheth has long been ready,
Indeed, it has been prepared for the king.
He has made it deep and large,
A pyre of fire with plenty of wood;
The breath of the LORD, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire”.
Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
Stay tuned in for part 2