Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. (NLT)
Many years ago, the taboo subject was sex. No one really wanted to talk about it. Not so nowadays. It could be that death has replaced this former taboo subject. It is a subject to be avoided. Even the word is avoided. We pass on, we are deceased, we pass away, we rest in peace, we sleep.
Nothing terribly wrong with such euphemisms, as long as we remain very clear-headed about the inevitability of death. As our text reminds us, it is the destiny of all human beings to die. Medical technology and care can sometimes postpone death, but it can’t put it off forever. Sometimes it even compels people to go on living when it is time for them to die.
Some would rather have a loved one alive but terribly weak and uncomfortable in an alien place rather than let them die in God’s good time. It seems like love and compassion, but sometimes it can be fear and insecurity.
Death is seen as the ultimate defeat. But our text reminds us also that for those who trust in Jesus for mercy and pardon it is a doorway to victory. Jesus’ resurrection guarantees the resurrection of those who die trusting in him.
We certainly don’t become absorbed with dying, nor do we ignore rightful efforts to help people stay alive. But death itself is not the ultimate enemy: dying without faith in Jesus is the worst thing. A follower of Jesus can face death with confidence that it is the end of a chapter in our life story, not the end of the story itself.