In his own words: This is hardly in keeping with the “good death” of the hospice component of the death awareness movement: Every death becomes a good death with a final, fulfilling opportunity for personal growth, ultimate maturation, a developing readiness to move on to an affirming and meaningful experience. But I am pretty much of the opinion that death means personal annihilation. Psalm 30 certainly suggests it.
What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit?If you have to ask, don’t you already know the answer? And if it wasn’t personal annihilation, it was Sheol that awaited the dead, which in my mind is about the same as dying and moving to west Texas.
Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Either way, the only remedy is resurrection. I believe it will be God’s final word through Christ, a voice loud enough to crack graves open and sharp enough to command the dead to rise.
Meanwhile, I tend my father.
Those who read this blog know what I think of funerals that have become celebrations of life and of death that is deemed natural or grief a coming to terms with the naturalness of death. There is no good death. There is death which sometimes appears merciful because of the tortured nature of life but it is only a mask. We don't need masks to deal with death. We need a Savior, we need a life which death cannot overcome, and we need the Word that calls the dead to rise again. Amen to that. Death cannot and should not be softened. The resurrection is not some consolation prize. It is the one and only answer to the searing questions of Psalm 30. Don't console by attempting to mask death behind some kind of fake goodness. Expose it for what it is -- in all its ugliness, pain, and sorrow. But do not leave us there. Point us to the final word. Speak to us the Word that has triumphed over death to steal away its victory and hold for us the promise of something greater -- the resurrection!