Recently, I officiated a funeral for a 105 year old man and attended the visitation for a 6 year old child. Despite the vast disparity in their ages, the grievous reality of human frailty was driven home to me with great clarity.

I experienced tangibly life’s brevity and death’s certainty expressed by the Psalmist who said, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years…for soon it is gone and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)

As ironic as it sounds, the pain of loss can profit us in life. According to Solomon, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that (physical death) is the end of every man and the living takes it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2)

The living take to heart that our earthly existence is finite and heed the advice of Andrew, the angel of death in the old television series “Touched by An Angel.” He aptly stated, “death is not something to fear, but something to prepare for.”

We prepare for physical death by insuring we’ll live spiritually after it. How can we be assured of spiritual life after physical death? Jesus plainly stated, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live (spiritually) even if He dies (physically), and whoever lives (physically) and believes in me will never die (spiritually).” (John 11:25-26)

To “believe” in Jesus is to wholeheartedly embrace the good news of who He is and what He has done. “All we (humans) like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6) from God’s perfect moral standards and deserve His wrath (Rom. 6:23). “But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him (Christ).” Jesus, the fully divine and fully human sinless Son of God, died to take the punishment for our personal rebellion against God and give His righteousness to all who believe (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:22-24,28; 5:8).

To live (spiritually) when we die (physically) we must personally believe that “Jesus died for our sins… and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

“Belief” is active trust. I knew intellectually the purpose of a hot air balloon. But it wasn’t until I actually climbed into a basket connected to a huge nylon balloon inflated by an intense flame and rose into the air that I truly believed I could fly in one.

Be prepared to live when you die. Believe in Jesus and receive the eternal life God promises. (John 3:16; 20:30-31).

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