Dear Friends,

Surely there have to be times to think about death. Both death in general and your own death. Holy Week is a good time to think about death.

First of all, death is unavoidable. Every living thing will die. Every human being will die. Whether we are thinking about science or spirituality or morality or ideology or politics; surely it is important to consider death and what death means for a system of science or morality or anything that human beings think about. When we ponder and think, we think about facts and intuitions and what other people have said or are saying – but we rarely think about death. But how can any system of thought or reflection fail to think through what death means? Shouldn’t the reality of death critique and shape what we believe and understand?

Second of all, if death is unavoidable, then it must be natural, but we never feel it is natural. Why is it that death always seems unnatural, “out of place”. Why is it we feel human death “doesn’t belong” or “shouldn’t be”? If we do not consider the reality and inevitability of death, we will not go on to consider our intuition that death is unnatural! Once again, how does our ideology or science account for this? Does our insight about death as unnatural change our science or philosophy?

Third of all, many people today and throughout history believe that death is not final, that life goes on in some form. This, in fact, is further evidence that we do not believe death is natural in some sense. Once again, how does an intuition that life follows death fit in with science and philosophy and morality and spirituality; in other words, with thoughtful thought? The hard-nosed evidence is that human death is final. If it is not, how does science and human thought have to change? Apart from intuition, what evidence is there that human death is not final?

Christians believe that on the original “Good Friday”, the women and the soldiers and the enemies of Jesus and the curious and the idle were, in fact, witnessing the death of death in the death of Jesus Messiah. His full and complete entry into death on Friday and His full and complete defeat of death on Sunday is historical evidence that death is not final. It is also evidence that death is both natural and unnatural. God bears witness in human history that death was not meant to be the final word. Jesus told us that if we trust in Him and follow Him we will share in His defeat of death and in His unending life on the other side of death.

George +