Are The Dead, Really Dead? (Part One of Three)
The answer to the question, “Are the dead, really dead?” As far as the natural eye can tell and the instrumentation used to verify death is obiviously, “Yes.” But is the person really dead? Or, have the dead just entered into a transformation stage between this life and another. We understand from the study of the butterfly that a butterfly undergoes a transformation stage from which it is transformed from a woolly worm into a beautiful butterfly that we all enjoy watching while it glides gently on the lazy currents of air only to land on our flowering plants before moving on to visit another. Who would have dreamed that those not so great looking woolly worms crawling on our driveways and sidewalks would be transformed into beautiful creatures with elaborate designs weaved into the wings of the butterfly. We have given them names wherein they can be identified by color, size and pattern designs. We also know that the woolly worms disappear in late fall only to reappear as a beautiful butterfly in the spring and summer. So what happens to the woolly worm when it disappears for a few months? Truthfully, I have not studied the species so I cannot tell you what happens during this stage. And I suppose many people think the woolly worm just dies off in the late fall because it disappears from our sight. Others who have no thoughts about the transformation of the woolly worm use the number of them they see in the fall crossing our roads and driveways to try to predict how many heavy fogs and snows we will have that winter, and still others know the full cycle of life of the butterfly.
Just as I have used the description of the life cycle of the butterfly to illustrate that just because something disappears for a while does not mean that the thing died and therefore has no further useful purpose. As I have described, we all know that thinking has a flaw because the woolly worm re-emerges after months of being out of sight as something far more beautiful and quite different than what it was when we last saw it. Could it be the same with the human? It is written, we live, we die, and will re-emerge (or resurrected) at a later time as something far more beautiful than when we died. I know there are people who have devoted websites to the idea that when we die, that’s it, we are no more. And there are others who think that when we die the soul goes into the grave along with the body and stays there until some later time when we will be judged. And there are still others who read the scriptures and say there is life after death in which the body will be resurrected and we will spend eternity in heaven.
I want to look at a couple of things Jesus had to say about death and dying and the hereafter before we come to the conclusion of this matter in Part Three. It’s obivious that the human body goes into the grave, or is cremated, or entombed in a mausoleum, or other dry place shortly after the last breath is drawn. I know this is true because I own a funeral home and work in the death industry, but I do not believe that what we call death is the end of life, nor do I believe our soul enters the grave with our body where it sleeps until judgment. And I base my beliefs not upon superstition or hearsay, but on the Scriptures. Let’s look at the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ because He is our example in all things. Our natural understanding tells us His body died, and was place in a borrowed grave. But what happened to the soul and spirit of Jesus? Did they enter the grave with His body as some people teach? If that were so, there was no resurrection. And if there was no resurrection; He could not have taken our punishment upon Himself. And we would still be just as lost as we were before He made His appearance on the earth because no penality would have been paid for our sins. His coming to earth as a man would have served no purpose; and God never does anything without purpose and an expected end. Or, did the soul and spirit of Jesus separate themselves from His body at death and go to another place where they suffered in our place for the sins we committed against God before reconnecting with His body at His tomb and returning to His Father? You can read the conclusion of this message in Parts Two and Three. DThrash
- Posted in: Christianity