Is There a “Good Death”?

Some people try to make the case that death is a good thing – it is just a part of life. I recently read a statement from a prominent pastor, “Death is a part of life. Dying is as natural as being born,” but how does the Bible talk about death?

The Widow of Nain

Only six miles from Jesus’s boyhood home of Nazareth lays the little village of “Nain,” which means beautiful and the view from there is. However, on this day, the view was anything but beautiful. A widow, dressed in black, was walking behind the litter on which rested her only son, her only hope (Luke 7:11).

If death were a good thing and only part of life, then Jesus would have comforted her with those words. Instead, Jesus raised the young man back to life and gave him to his mother.

Jairus’s Daughter

After this, Jesus returned to Capernaum. There was a desperate man. His name was Jairus, and he was an important official in the synagogue there. Jairus might have been skeptical about Jesus – perhaps even hostile. It may be that Jairus was there when Jesus healed a man with a withered hand. Maybe he was there when the Centurion’s servant was healed. Jairus may have been filled with confusion and doubt, but when his daughter was torn with fever, and the outlook was death, he went to find Jesus, but he was too late. His little daughter died.

Jesus told him: “Do not fear; only believe and she will be well” (Luke 8:50).

The Curse of Adam

Death is a curse. God told Adam, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16, 17) and that’s precisely what he did. From that day forth, Adam and Eve began to age and get sick and to die. And because we are Adam’s children, we are under the same curse. Because of Adam’s sin, death has reigned overall.

Death is Not Good

God is good, but death is evil. It brought tears to the eyes of Jesus, and saying goodbye still brings tears to our eyes. Yes, we have hope, not just that we will live again, but there is more. The Apostle Paul wrote:

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:22 – 26).

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” There is a great day coming!

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