Arrivals and Departures
It’s said there are two things in this world that are inevitable: death and taxes. Let’s talk about one of them: death. There was movie recently released based on a book about death entitled Heaven is for Real. It’s about an evangelical pastor who’s young son died and experienced heaven yet returned to tell about it. There are numerous testimonial books about these experiences, some Christ-centered and some not, but this one has caught the eye of mainline Christianity. The thing about it is this: yes, heaven is for real. It’s a real place, in real time, with a real Savior. To me, this movie is about the upside of death. It should get us thinking about the supremacy of Christ. This book/movie serves to confirm what the Bible already says; everyone will experience death but Christ has ultimate authority over it.
Death is one of those things that Jesus first experienced for us therefore we have assurance of the outcome: resurrection. The Bible says that death is the last enemy that we have. It’s the end of a line of authorities over which Christ showed Himself supreme; death is under His feet. He opened the gates for us to enter into fellowship with Him even after our bodies are in the ground. That’s a key. We can have an intimate relationship with Him now but it doesn’t stop at death. It continues into our new life when our spirit/soul is reunited with Him. Death shouldn’t be a sad, dark, or fearful experience for a believer, it should be one of anticipation and excitement!
As followers of Christ we all want to be like Him, right? Paul understood this because he wrote to the believers in Philippi that he wanted to imitate Him in his life and even in death (Phil. 3:10).
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. (Philippians 1:21 NLT)
Don’t miss that. If we agree with Paul and his God-inspired words then death is better than life on this earth. How’s that possible? Because the moment our bodies breath out that last breath, we are in the presence of God. He was the first one to experience the grave and prove His victory over this enemy, death, by His resurrection. The way is now opened for us and our privilege is to enter into immediate fellowship with Him upon that last breath. What a moment that will be! Our union with Him will be unbroken; that’s undoubtedly why Paul wrote that his departure from this world far outweighed his desire to stay here.
I will no longer look at the Arrivals and Departures sign at the airport the same. When it’s time for my departure I want to imitate Christ being like Him in His death. Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is our day of celebrating this truth, giving us the ability to trust Him even in death.