Recently I have been having alot of discussions about what it means to die. That is, when we die, do we die and our spirit or soul goes off somewhere, or do we just “die’. Is there a physical death and a spiritual death, or are both the same?
I’m not talking about if there is a heaven or hell, but what actually happens when one dies, and I think our example should be to look at what happened to Jesus.
Jesus, when he died, died 😛 He ceased to exist, all that was left was a lifeless, decomposing (or beginning to breakdown) corpse. He was put in the ground and left there for the flesh to rot off his bones. Jesus no longer was breathing, thinking, desiring, wanting, willing; Jesus was dead.
When Jesus was resurrected, what did we find? Not just his “spirit” or his “soul”, but rather the whole of Jesus, flesh and blood, mind and will, soul and spirit, wants and desires… anything and everything that goes into making Jesus “a person” was what reappeared.
Jesus’ resurrection is especially important, I think, because through resurrection we see what was lost, and what was brought back. The fact is, that when Jesus died, he ceased to be, and when he was resurrected, he “was” again and still is. You see, this is what it means to die. If your soul/spirit lives on, then “you” haven’t really died. If the wages of sin are death, and Jesus death on the cross is exemplar of a “sinful death” then a death in which some part of you “doesnt die” isnt the same death that Jesus experienced.
Jesus paid the price for “sin” by dying. We too will die, but because the price is paid this death is not final. We too will be resurrected, and like Jesus, live eternally. In saying that, we need to be clear in how we understand the effect of death on our person.