We believe in life after death
Following the recent announcement that the coronavirus has now claimed a total of three million deaths worldwide, Philip Young reminds us that Christ’s resurrection brings us all the hope of eternal life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought home to us our vulnerability and mortality. This is our modern plague, which has brought us face to face with disease and death. When we focus our attention on the disease, we are reminded that we are perishable beings. We are born, only, at some stage, to perish away and to die. Saint Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:42, puts it this way: ‘What is sown is perishable’.
And yet for Christians the message of Easter is that this perishable return of the body to the earth is not the end, but the passage to a glorious new beginning. Death is often a taboo subject because there is so much fear surrounding it. If it is the end of us and there is no life after death, then no wonder we would want to avoid talking about it.
But what if, as well as a perishable body, which will inevitably die, there is also something which is imperishable and immortal about us? This is what Christians believe. We believe that as well as being made like Adam, the first man who perishes, we are also made like Christ, the second man, who is immortal and imperishable.
We believe that we are made in God's image and therefore there is something lasting and immortal about us. We believe in resurrection, life after death, and that we share in Christ’s resurrection.
The Easter anthems which are used in many churches during the Easter celebrations sum it up in this way:-
Christ once raised from the dead dies no more: death has no more dominion over him.
In dying he died to sin once for all: in living he lives to God.
See yourselves therefore as dead to sin: and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christ has been raised from the dead: the first fruits of those who sleep.
For as by man came death: by man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
for as in Adam all die: even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Easter Anthems, page 263, Common Worship, Daily Prayer
This is indeed the good news of the resurrection which Christians wish to joyfully share with others. We are hopeful in the face of death. We believe in life after death.
We remember the 3 million who have died worldwide from Covid-19 with great sadness, but we also give thanks for their lives. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. Not one of them is lost, but they are alive for evermore with God.
And where God is, there is love.
The image above is from pixabay.com
Philip is an Anglican, Quaker, and a member of the Third Order of Franciscans, and now lives in Felixstowe. Until July 2014 he was the Diocesan Environmental Officer for the Norwich Diocese. In June 2017 he stood as an Independent Candidate for the General Election in the Suffolk Coastal Constituency. He is now Associate Priest at St. John and St. Edmund in Felixstowe and a freelance writer on spiritual and political matters. He is available to run Quiet Days, give talks, presentations or to preach and can be contacted at email@example.com. Philip is developing a new website www.revolutionoflovenow.com.
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