Over the past 6 months, I have seen a lot of death. I've seen people seem to drift off quietly, like into a deep sleep. I've seen seemly endless chest compressions on someone drifting in and out of consciousness, scared and begging not to die. I've seen a man gag as the last breaths will not come into his lungs.
I've also seen many reactions to death. Seeming acceptance, perhaps hiding a denial. I've seen a raging at the world, God, or the random forces of nature. I've seen cheerful demeanor that accompanies words of celebration.
And in these times, I've heard many words about death. And of all the words I've heard, a certain class always makes me cringe. It is not the despair over death. It is not the anger over death. It is the belittling and minimizing of death. “He looks so peaceful.” or “death can be healing.”
Death is not your friend. Death is never good. Death is not peaceful, but the most violent thing that befalls man. Death is the ultimate curse (Gen 2:17). Death is last enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26). Death is what we look forward to ending (Rev 21:4).
When we see tears in the eyes of a mourner, my desire is that we will not belittle the reality of death. We ought not try to say that death is good. (inverse of Rom 14:16) We ought not call what is our curse and enemy good. But we can look forward to the end of death. Good may follow, but will never be death. Mourning and anger are not to be corrected when facing death, but truly expressed and addressed with a hope that is not death, but life.
Death is never good.
Death is not your friend.