Merciful Death

Cross Walk 2008

Me doing the Cross Walk in 2008

If we honestly looked around our world, we could see plenty of good reasons why people would want to take their lives. Sad? Definitely.

Sorry to be gloomy and maybe even a bit sick, but what if they are on to something?

Sweet Death

I read an article recently in Christian Research Journal (Vol. 34, No. 2, 2011) titled “A Christian View of Human Nature“. The author, John S. Hammet, had this to say about death:

Moreover, may not the end of life in this world be a severe mercy from God? True, death entered the world as the punishment for sin, but a punishment that opened the door to mercy. For once humans had fallen and become like God in knowing, not just good, but now evil, God intervened: “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22). It was the mercy of God that established the limitation of life as a fallen human; as redeemed persons, we are welcomed to the tree of life (Rev. 22:3).

Not only could God have allowed death as a mercy to get away from the suffering we brought upon ourselves (and for the record, I am not making any arguments today about the afterlife for all people; this is just about this life), but He used death to defeat death!

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

But:

Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

From the beginning, God showed us mercy through death. Even if you do not hold to Hammet’s take, here are some examples:

What do you think? Is death God once again showing His grace in the midst of our punishment?

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  1. I think you have touched on an interesting point. I think I would have to agree with Paul when he says: To be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).

    I would rather have the ability to die than spend an eternity of dealing with the sin of this fallen world. I believe that death also puts things in perspective when it comes to how little time we really have on this earth.

    So I guess I do believe it is part Mercy, and also part necessity. Right now we are living on borrowed time…and the prayers of the righteous are holding back the Hand of God. But time is definitely short!

    • You brought up two points that I had to force myself to not put in the hopes they would be in comments!

      I know I have seen that death has a funny way of getting people to focus their time and energy and specifically to prayer. The closer people get to God the more they tend to pray for MORE TIME! “Please, Lord, come quickly, but give us a little more time to reach more for your glory!”

  1. October 23rd, 2012

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