Death is not the terror we supposed

The cross teaches us that death is not the terror that we supposed. Jesus, dying in the most excruciating way, was not dead for long. In the chronicles of God, no death has ever lasted long. We fall asleep on this cruel planet and wake up a world away. It is amazing just how often the New Testament speaks of death as sleep (Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthinas 11:30; 15:51; 1 Thessolonians 4:14).

John Chrysostom in the fourth century said,

What is death at most?

It is a journey for a season:

a sleep longer than usual.

If thou fearest death,

thou shouldst also fear sleep.

Death is not only sleep; it is a sleep of transformation. Paul said, “We will not all sleep (or die), but we will all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51 NIV)

We all loof forward to sleeping that wonderful sleep of transformation. Ben Franklin wrote this epitaph for his own gravestone:

The body of

Benjamin Franklin, Printer,

Like the cover of an old book,

Its contents torn out,

And stript of its lettering and gilding,

Lies here, food for worms;

But the work shall not be lost,

For it will, as he believ’d,

Appear once more

In a new and more elegant edition,

Corrected and improved

By the Author.

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