The Death of Death

March 27th, 2013

Vampires, zombies, ghosts, and undead creatures appeal to us because eternity has been set in our hearts. Our limited minds aren’t able to comprehend infinity, yet humankind has long been obsessed with immortality. We feel that there’s something beyond this existence. A person’s soul, spirit, essence, or whatever we want to call it must live forever.

In all our speculation we’ve created fictional scenarios in which life beyond the grave happens right here on earth. It’s part of what makes creatures of the night so interesting. In some ways, visions of undead hordes aren’t too far from what the Bible predicts. That’s what resurrection is, after all. Dead people will come back to life. If Scripture is accurate, then we are all getting a seriously extreme makeover for eternity—a version of our bodies that can never be destroyed.

Paul said the perishable will become imperishable. Firstcentury believers like the Corinthians were already asking him how such a thing could be possible. “How are the dead raised?” they wondered. “With what kind of body will they come?” It’s like they were saying, “How could this possibly work? What would a corpse look like if it was pulled from the grave? Are you nuts?!” Even New Testament listeners in places like Corinth envisioned grim, zombielike bodies.

Paul responded by pointing out the laws of nature. Flowers and plants are not put in the ground. Seeds are. They look nothing like that which they yield but must first be put in the ground. The death of those seeds leads to new life and beauty. He described how even in our current understanding we know there are heavenly bodies like the sun, moon, and stars that we can see with our earthly bodies. We can understand that a gap exists between these realms, but transformation must occur in order to bridge it.

If we’re honest, most of us have thought about ways we would like to change our body. We dream about bodies that are not only perfect but also immune to sickness—bodies that can never die because death will be dead. Christ’s work on the cross means we don’t even have to fear death. Paul knew it when he asked, “Where, O death, is your victory? / Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). The sting of death is sin, and God nailed it to the cross to make a spectacle of it.

Out of all the crazy stories in this book, Jesus is the only one who raised himself from the dead. Everyone else was just resuscitated. They came back to life for a while but still had to die again. A resurrected person is immortal. Imagine what it will be like to have a physical body and yet never have to fear death. Without death to fear we are truly free to live.

This is an excerpt from Undead: Revived, Resuscitated, Reborn by Clay Morgan, Copyright © 2012.

comments powered by Disqus