What happens to us after we die? Every person asks this question, but what is the right answer? Our secular culture would tell you that there isn’t an answer. That it’s unknown. Without a living faith, there’s no reason to believe in a resurrection. And because of that, our culture has a great fear of death, and its highest value becomes avoiding death at all costs.
Through faith and reason, we know that the human person is immortal, and that both body and soul will be resurrected. We believe that Jesus Himself died to offer us eternal life. Because of this, our death can be a participation in His death, the greatest act of love ever performed, and can bring us to life. Christ’s atoning death takes an evil, death itself, and defeats it completely through his resurrection. For the Christian, instead of focusing on death, we have eternity to consider and prepare for!
Fearing death is natural. But there is a difference between feeling fear and acting out of fear. Feeling fear is largely unavoidable. Jesus Christ prayed in the Agony in the Garden that his cup of suffering pass away from Him. His sweat was as drops of blood. It seems that Jesus felt fear – but He did not act out of fear. He acted with courage. That should be our response to feelings of fear. Unfortunately, our culture encourages us to act out of fear, instead of acting courageously.
What then should we fear? Properly understood, only one thing: separating ourselves from God for all eternity. We were made for relationship with God, who is love Himself. All that we do should be seeking to unite ourselves with Him. He loves us fully, and wants us with Him for all eternity in a state of blessedness. If we choose to separate ourselves from Him, we separate ourselves from Love and Goodness. But with Him, death loses its sting and is not to be feared.
Each of us will inevitably face an earthly death. With the time we are gifted, we need to make sure that we are living for the Lord! And then, when our death comes, instead of approaching it with fear considering all that we will lose, we can approach it with faith and hope that we are about to enter into a life with Love Himself and gain everything.