You are going to die. Statistically, it will probably be from cancer or heart disease.
That’s a fact many people have a difficult time coming to terms with. No amount of ignoring it can make it go away. One day, God willing a long time from now, you will draw your last breath on this Earth.
But, then what?
Is it, as atheists believe, that when you die your consciousness is annihilated? Do you cease to exist? Were all of your experiences, joy, heartache, wonder, and love, just the neural-electrical impulses of a sentient, but ultimately, accidental amalgamation of matter? If that’s the case, you’re dead already, buried alive in a universe-sized coffin.
But what if there is something more? What if, when you die, you then truly get the chance to live?
Almost every culture has speculated on what happens to the soul upon death. From primal ancestor worship, to the quasi-continuum of Egypt, to the grey delirium of the Greek underworld, to the idea of reincarnation in the Eastern religions; all cultures have speculated, and dare I say, most have come up with something mundane or not much better than death itself.
This is not the case with the Death and Resurrection of Christ. In His death, the sting of death is removed (cf. 1 Cor. 15:56). But not magically as in the folk religions or pagan religions of antiquity. No, instead, we have a God who does not arbitrarily remove the rules of nature. He conquers them.
Like all living things, Christ, too, died. His physical body experienced the same state of death as yours will. His Sacred Heart ceased. His lungs stopped breathing. The neural impulses of His nervous system stopped controlling the functions of His body. He truly died.
However, this was not the end as it was for all other living things before Him. This was truly the beginning.
In all of history, when a living organism died, that was the end of their physical existence. Not one living thing, after death grasped it fully, ever came back. Not one animal, not one flower, not one single-celled organism. Even Lazarus, whom Christ raised, still ultimately physically died again.
But Christ did truly come back, physically, after death. That single fact splits history and the universe right down the middle, rends it like the Temple veil, and reveals eternity to mortal creatures like us.
It is important to note, this was not simply a resuscitation. This was something different, something more. This was resurrected life in a glorified body, now freed from the biological need for death.
So, yes you will die, just as our Lord died. But, you don’t need to fear it. Have hope. Christ has conquered death. Even on this somber day where we ponder the agony and passion of Our Crucified Lord, a day that ends in death, when you gaze upon the Crucifix, remember His words:
“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”