Theologically, death is the physical and spiritual consequence of humanity's sin. Physically it is the cessation of all physical faculties that one possesses and spiritually it is alienation from God. (Gen 2:17; Rom 5:12, 6:23; Eph 2:1-5).
However, application wise, there is no subject more difficult and painful for us to comprehend than death and dying. Some say since Christ long defeated death, we should be joyful in it. But as one said, "Everybody has to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case." Though this is a facetious statement, it is a fear that each one of us face. How are we to think about and deal with dying and ultimately death? Scripture alone gives us the answer-it is a decision made by a Sovereign God at an appointed time. (Heb 9:27).
Death, even for us who know Christ, brings hard realities. Dying and death will happen to all of us. And as we experience others' dying and death it always hurts and always leaves us with a lonely hole in our hearts. We are not spared these feelings just because we believe in Him. But we can go to Him and He will give peace and comfort that this world knows nothing of.
However, at one's dying and ultimately death, we do and should grieve, but we do not grieve as those who have no hope-we have the Cross of Christ. For the death of Christ on the Cross is the decisive revelation of God in all history. Because the Cross is the means by which God reconciles man to Himself. (Eph 2: 16; Col 1:20).
And for those who have not come to Christ, and trust in His death, Scripture declares we are without hope and without God in the world (Eph 2:12). But we don't need to stay there. We can trust Him and have the confidence that if we should die, we have eternal life because He promises it.
- Battling Unbelief, by John Piper
- Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, by John Piper & Justin Taylor