A 12-year-old boy timidly entered the funeral parlor. With his hand clasped in his father's, the boy and man walked together toward the casket. The boy looked at the face of his mother in death. The Grim Reaper had done his work well. A few hours before, his mother had been alive, she had had light in her eyes, speech on her lips, strength in her limbs. Then in a moment, life passed away. Although all appeared to be as it was before, the eyes, the lips, the hands, everything was so different. Nothing visible had been taken away. The only thing that was gone was life.
I am sure that many of us has gone through this experience, standing in front of a loved one’s sickbed looking on helplessly as life slowly ebbs away from them. Death was not in God’s plan for his people, it is sin's strange reward. A ‘reward’ no one can run away from.
Somewhere in Dark Africa the tribe moves to another location when one of them dies, hoping that death will not follow them. The First World countries started a space program and their ultimate goal is to find a planet where death is not present. But, until Jesus comes, death is certain. (Heb.9:27)
Death is an unnatural state. Eliphaz, Job's friend, didn't understand this point, for he equated death with a harvest when he said to the patriarch, "You shall come to your grave in ripe old age, as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing floor in its season" (Job 5:26). God did not set an age limit on man before sin. There is no season in God's plan for a harvest of death to cut people down. But because of sin, death is unavoidable.
Philip of Macedon had a slave to whom he gave a standing order. The man was to come in to the king every morning of his life, and no matter what the king was doing, say to him in a loud voice, "Philip, remember that you must die!" Rather a gruesome ritual. But perhaps the world would be a different place if every person had someone remind them daily, "Remember that you must die." But the Bible tells us to remember more than death.
There will come a day when death's sting will be forever gone. There will come a day when mortals will put on immortality. A day of joy and gladness when that great reunion will take place. A day of unutterable excitement when death will no longer give summons to the living. Death may be sin's messenger, but it is certainly God's enemy.
May the day come soon when the victory shout over death will be sounded. Come Lord Jesus, Come! Praise God for this hope.