Death always means separation, because the dead are separate from the living. We dig graves for that very reason, and we say goodbye when a loved one passes; it often bugs us to no end when we didn’t have a chance to say goodbye before their passing. Death is final that way. On this side of heaven we won’t see this person again.
However, when it comes to death there’s still more separation involved than meets the eye.
- There’s separation of body and soul, once our hearts stop beating. Not everybody is on board with an afterlife – assuming that once our bodies are dead we are completely gone. Well, here is the good news: a person is way more than just a body (a good thing to remember if you happen to struggle with yours). The soul is the part that passes on, the body is the part that is buried in the ground.
- And then there’s separation from God, also known as spiritual death. If one has a hard time grasping the fact that human beings have souls moving out of the body at the time of death, then spiritual death will probably make even less sense. Maybe it’s helpful to think of a spiritually dead person as a human being without conscience. We all are born with one. If we succeed in overriding this God-given inner compass we’ll be spiritually dead.
The Bible calls our physical passing “first death” and refers to our separation from God as “second death”. Getting separated from God is like severing roots from a thriving plant. Without roots this plant withers and dies. By the same token, without God our soul withers and dies. So theoretically, we could very well be physically alive but spiritually dead and vice versa. Worst case scenario: we’re both spiritually and physically dead.
I believe that Jesus’s saving power ushers both physical and spiritual resurrection. When we’re celebrating Easter we celebrate the fact that Jesus overcame both: the first and the second death.
- Jesus conquered physical death when He publicly rose from the grave after three days. Additionally, He resurrected human beings from the dead. Lazarus is a famous example.
- Jesus conquered spiritual death because He has the power to forgive. That eliminates everything that separates us from God. We get a fresh start with the Almighty, because God forgives and forgets.
Jesus’s resurrection is an amazing milestone in the history of mankind, maybe even an amazing milestone in the history of all God’s creation. Who can imagine the kind of impact Jesus’ death and resurrection made in the entire universe?
Easter is a wonderful occasion to celebrate Jesus’s great accomplishment of saving the world. Easter pushes the door to God’s kingdom wide open. Everybody is called by name. We are all invited to come. Praise the Lord!
“Praise to the Lord
Come on everybody
Stand up and sing one more “Hallelujah”
Give your praise to the Lord
I could never tell you just how much
Good that it’s bound to do you
Just to sing
The song your heart learned to sing
When He first gave His life to you
Well, life goes on and so must the song
You gotta sing again the song born in your soul when
You first gave your heart to Him
Sing His praises once more
Give your praise to the Lord” Rich Mullins