The perspective that the Lord has of life and death is quite different to the way people think of these things. It is a commonly held belief that when a person dies, that is the end. There is no coming back and nothing more to say or do. When it’s over, it’s over as the saying goes.
But this is not the way the Lord saw things. Jesus did not speak of the death of the body as a finality. Instead he saw it only as the end of one phase of life, and we see in the Bible that there are two deaths.
We see how the Lord saw death in this section of scripture. When the daughter of Jairus had died all the people said not to bother the Lord as it was too late. Jesus knew otherwise. He told everyone to leave the room except for the parents of the girl and his close disciples, Peter, James and John; telling the rest that the girl was “only sleeping.”
Now these people knew what death was. They knew that when you are dead you are not just sleeping and there was no way a person could be awoken from death. They did not need a doctor or coroner to pronounce someone dead as we do today, they knew the girl was gone. And because they were convinced of this they laughed at Jesus.
Did Jesus care? Not at all, because he knew better. He knew there were two deaths.
Raising the dead
When they had cleared the room he went to the girl, took her by the hand and said, “Child, arise.” (Verse 54) At this saying the spirit of the girl returned to her body and she got up at once; healed and alive. The Lord then instructed that she be given something to eat.
As far as Jesus is concerned the death of the body is not that important in the total scheme of things. God created man and can put the spirit back into the body and/or recreate the body if he wishes at any time he likes. Jesus said the death that we know, being the death of the body, was like being asleep. And as we can raise a person from their physical slumber, Jesus has the power to raise a person from the sleep of death.
Death of the Spirit
The Bible speaks of two deaths, one being the death of the body as we know it and the second being the death of the spirit. The death of the body is nothing. All it signifies is the separation of the spirit of a person from the flesh. It identifies the end of the life in the physical realm, but the spirit continues to exist in either Paradise or Hades until the time of judgment.
At the end time all of mankind will be resurrected to judgement by God. Those found worthy will go into everlasting life with Christ Jesus, the angels and the Father. But those found unworthy will go into the second death as described in Revelation 20:14-15, “This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” The second death is the destruction of the spirit of the person.
The Great Decision
I have often made the statement to people that it is my opinion that we are on this earth for one reason only. We are here to make a single decision; whether to follow Christ or not. Everything else is immaterial in the total scheme of things for it is this one decision that will determine where we end up after judgement day.
Again it is my opinion that this short life we have now is only a testing period to see how we will behave as well as what we will choose. This is not our real life, it is just a taste of life. If we are fortunate enough to live for 60, 70, 80 years or whatever, it is nothing compared to the eternity that is on offer. Especially when we consider that the eternity on offer is without sickness, disease, war, poverty, oppression and anything else that is evil in this world today.
Simply put, those who follow Christ will not go through the second death, but those who choose not to follow him are doomed. So my question to all who read this is; what will you choose?