We don’t like to think about death in our culture—period. I can’t remember the last time I drove by a graveyard. That’s pretty telling. Shopping malls, theaters, businesses, Starbucks—check. All of these signposts of life are present everywhere—but death? Nah, let’s not talk about that. We’ve even decided to do away with death in our everyday speech. Fred passed away. He didn’t die. We’re even afraid of uttering the word death. But death is coming to us all. So here are three things to think about death.
1. Death sucks.
This is completely overlooked in our celebration of life ceremonies, but it’s the truth. Death sucks. There is nothing pretty about it. When Lazarus died, even Jesus wept (John 11:35). Death is our greatest enemy—it is the last enemy that we will face in this life. So we should not try to dignify death (by celebrating it), and we should not dismiss death (by acting like it doesn’t exist). The only way to move beyond death is to defeat death—and the only way to do that is through the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus crushed death on the cross, and will one day destroy death forever. Death will die, too.
2. You are going to die.
You, and everyone that you know, will die. It’s not if, but when. This is a tough pill to swallow, but it is a sad reality. Instead of giving in to despair or endless pessimism about life, the reality of your own death should affect how you spend your time now. I don’t mean that we should “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!” Rather, we should spend each moment well—with enjoyment and thanksgiving—because time is fleeting. Knowing this fact should help us get our priorities straight and spend our time wisely—for “the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16).
3. So, die well.
The best way to die well is to prepare for it now. Our military prepares for battle even when we are at peace; so also do we need to train and get ready for whenever “D-Day” comes. We don’t know when it will happen—but we know it will happen. So in order to die well, we need to live well. Become a member of a church where the gospel is preached regularly and faithfully—because our only comfort at the time of death is found in and through the work of Jesus Christ. Live each day to the glory of God, knowing that through faith alone in Christ alone death will die.