Death stalks the halls of the hospital, its hand touching the living and showing them a reflection of their mortality. Medicine challenges Death’s hand with diagnoses, treatments and prognoses. Few people die of “old age” any more now that doctors analyze medical images and tests which reveal inside views and provide explanations for most symptoms.
But I observe an increased awareness of the spiritual realm as Death approaches. At the end of life mankind generally acknowledges eternity. I meet very few determined agnostics on a death bed.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Our hospital chaplain is a devout Christian and I asked her how she counselled people from other faith traditions in a time of need.
She replied, “Everyone is on a spiritual journey and I just meet them where they are.”
As I worked this Easter weekend I considered the words of Paul as he defended the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever.
Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory.
They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength.
They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,
this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Each broken and diseased body I saw today was a reminder of the effects of sin and death.
After the patients were assisted up for breakfast, each empty bed reminded me of the empty tomb and the promise of a new resurrected body.
May the God who gives salvation, peace, comfort and hope through the death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ bless you this Easter Sunday and for eternity.