Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On Death...

Three weeks ago, a friend of one of my youths committed suicide. Last week, the nation watched as the Virginia Tech mourned the loss of lives from 32 students, ended by another college student. Yesterday, while talking with my cousin, she told me that her brother, Matt, lost a friend on Saturday in a horrible horrible accident.

The fact that there is death and death in such unexpected, tragic means is evidence that this is a sinful world.

It's easy, when death comes, to point fingers. To say, "so and so didn't do this," or "this person is to blame for this." Even Cho, in his videos to NBC, blamed students at the school saying, "you forced me to do this." It's easy to shift blame, when who we have to blame is ourselves. Sunday, in Sunday School, one of my youth blamed Adam and Eve for their faults, saying, "all they had to follow was one rule and they broke it!"

Death is never easy. The things that are said after are never easy either. You want it to be recognized but you don't want rumors and the gossip that seem to always accompany the account. You want to offer hope, but you don't want it to sound trite. You mourn, but you seek peace and comfort in the promises of Christ.

So where is hope in death? Does it happen, as another one of my youth said, "For a reason?" I don't think that the shootings on the VA Tech campus are part of God's bigger plan, nor were the deaths of these two young people "for a reason." God can and will use these times for good, because He is God and He is good, but by saying they're part of a bigger reason is, to me, saying that God let these things happen so that lessons would be learned... and that's not true.

Death is a result of sin and satan active in this world.

So where is hope in death?

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory.Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. "

1 Corinthians 15:50-57