Dead and being Asleep
Mark 6: 39 -
And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
This Passover week we will be remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have Muslims who due to this event say Jesus was not God for God can not die. Some even question if God died then who was running the world.
We Christians may laugh at these statements of the Muslim and may point fingers at their small mindedness. But among us Christians also are many who still are not clear about death, what happens to us after dead and what does resurrection really mean.
In today's message we see Jesus points out to the dead child as being asleep. We could imagine the reaction of the people who were mourning as to what they thought of Jesus when He spoke those words!
If that child was asleep then what happened to Jesus at the Passover was He also asleep?
Jesus puts in the Bible as man having 2 deaths. The first death is when the soul and the spirit leave the body. In many places it is written as only spirit and in some places as only soul. One should first understand spirit as in Hebrew means just breath of life.
Plants and animals both are living beings but plants unlike animals when they die, we say the plant withered away but an animal as died. A plant's death cannot be pointed to a particular moment of time but to a period, but in the case of animals we can. Both have the breath of life but both do not have a soul. Man like animals has a soul (inner man also called heart and should not be confused with the organ). Like the shape and biological structure of man gives man an image so also the soul gives an image to the spirit of man. A spirit is beautiful if its soul is beautiful. It is the soul that gets beautified with spiritual things not the Spirit. They cannot be separated and perish together. The soul is the body of the inner man. The perishing of the inner man is called second death. This death is exceedingly painful than the first death.
When Jesus died His Spirit did not die but since He had taken all the sins on Him, He was forsaken unto hell. Hell is a prison and not a place where Devil rules. Satan himself is a prisoner there. It is the Angels of God who control hell. Hell was made for sinners' spirits to perish there until its time, and the suffering there is the burning of the sins that are concealed within the soul. The burning is from inside not outside. There is no fire outside like shown in pictures or, illustrations, or some people's claim of visions or visitations.
Hell is for sinners but since Jesus had no sin in Him, He could not be kept in Hell so had to be freed and by His freeing all the souls that believe in Him are also freed. Therefore it is written all souls from the time of Noah who were in Hell and believed in Him came up (the first Covenant was with Noah). Now any soul that believes in Him does not go to Hell after death but sleeps in a spiritual level called Grave, or Sea (not earthly grave or sea), or bosom of Abraham (for he to sleeps) until Jesus' coming back to take us to Heaven after we being judged. The Greek word translated as resurrection simply means to rise. Hell is the lowest level of the spirit world and we who were born of sin in Adam and are now born again by our faith in Jesus Christ will rise and will not go to that lowest level. The curse of Hell is cancelled for them who believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Also since Jesus was perfect (uncorrupted - did not commit even one sin) therefore even His flesh body did not perish but was also raised. That does not mean He dwells in the flesh in Heaven but like He demonstrated in His transfiguration it takes a spiritual form (raised means bought to a better level).
This Resurrection Sunday let us remember this great victory and use the opportunity to witness this victory unto others, so that they too believe and not die but sleep in Him.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we know that although we die we will not die the second death because You have cancelled the curse of Hell by your death and resurrection. Your appearing again on the third day was a proof for all mankind. We know Lord You will come again after we sleep to wake us up and take us with You to the House of our Eternal Father. There we will be an eternal part of You and will be glorified with You as You are glorified...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
Luke 23: 44-46
44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things,...
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:51-54
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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