gift of life #7
death is not the answer
The Old Testament saints looked for a resurrection because they did not believe that death was the answer to their problems.
• Job said “If (the dead person’s) sons are honoured, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it” (Job 14:21 NET).
• Solomon said “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV).
• He said “For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything. They no longer have a reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 LEB).
• David said “For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave?” (Psalm 6:5 NLT).
• Another psalmist said “The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone into the silence of the grave” (Psalm 115:17 NLT).
• Heman the Ezrahite asked “Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? … Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love? Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds? Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness?” (Psalm 88:10-12 NLT).
• Another psalmist described death by saying “His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:4 NASB).
• Isaiah said “For Sheol cannot thank you; Death cannot praise you. Those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:18 HCSB).
So, for these Old Testament believers, death may not have been the end of all existence, but it was not the eternal life that they wanted. They trusted God for hope after death, but they did not find that hope in death itself.
But a lot of Christians have rejected that outlook. They choose the doctrine of human nature that was borrowed from teachers of Greek philosophy. That doctrine taught that death really is the answer to our problems – that we don’t really need a resurrection because some part of us will continue to think and praise God in the intermediate state. Popular theology seems content with a combination of the resurrection to eternal life that the Bible teaches, and the continued conscious life that Plato taught.
The modern world laughs at the idea that death is a release to a better life, and rightfully so, because there is no evidence for that belief. But there is evidence for a resurrection. His name is Jesus. He is the answer. Death is not.
If you have any questions about this teaching, you can ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join me for this entire series as we search the scriptures to learn about the gift of life.
listen to the audio file at Afterlife.