A relentless question.
Easter challenges us to have one more go at tackling the BIG question. For me, there IS only ONE big question: is death the end?
Yesterday I saw a famous person interviewed on TV. He was old and very ill. When asked this “big” question he replied: “there’s no Hell; and there’s no Heaven either. This life is the mystery.”
I have always been fascinated, yet horrified, by people who think that death’s the end. I also experience a massive compassion for them. Why? I wonder, “how do they cope?”
I have absolutely no idea how I could face this life, if I dismissed the afterlife. That I simply ceased to exist at death. No more than a piece of meat. History. Dead and gone forever. My life – ultimately meaningless?
Am I guilty of a desperate, hidden and totally irrational clinging to my belief in the afterlife? If so, why? Is it because I’m terrified to even contemplate the very possibility that I’m wrong, deluded and in rampant denial? Is the Easter story about the resurrection mistaken after all?
Maybe I have no such thing as an “immortal soul”?
Is my belief in the afterlife no more than certain chemical impulses of my physical brain, as it tries to cope with something beyond imagining?
The Resurrection of Jesus
For 2000 years Christians have clung to their Easter belief in the “resurrection” of Jesus as indisputable proof. Others have dismissed it as a simple fraud by desperate followers of Jesus, as their beautiful dream ended in his ignominious crucifixion and death.
Just another deluded revolutionary, gone the way of all flesh. End of story!
Modern medical science has opened up a massive new field of investigation into the experience of death. How? We can now bring people back from near-death sickness. So?
Such people have fascinating “near-death” experiences to relate. And there are thousands of them.
It is now almost a commonplace to speak of their going down a tunnel towards the light, feeling love and a depth of joy – unimaginable in earthly terms.
Such literature is already abundant and challenging. Does that mean that the Easter resurrection message might just be true?
Here it is often a question of the ancient cliche: “for those who believe, no explanation is needed. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible.”
It would also seem, however, that there is also a third group: people who are simply agnostic: the “don’t knows.”
These are the people who perhaps could look into the matter more objectively. Have an open mind. Examine the evidence, take a fresh look at the question, think it through again. Maybe even pray?
Ask yourself: Where do I stand amongst these three answers to the BIG question?
Your Easter challenge? Stop. Think. Meditate. Re-visit this question again as Easter comes round once more. See yourself on your own death-bed. It gives a searingly honest perspective on this ultimate experience.
Challenging book to read
A recently published book by an eminent neurosurgeon, Dr Eben Alexander, gives a fascinating account of his own “near-death” experience.
Your Easter Challenge:
Get this book, read it with an open mind, and make this Easter one to remember. This book has helped me enormously. How?
Although I was a Christian Minister, I never had more than sheer faith to sustain my conviction about the afterlife. I never had any really “supernatural” experiences to bolster my faith.
Now I have read this book, I know that everything that I believed is true. Eben has “been there, and done that, and survived to tell us.”
His mission in life now is to help other people along the path that he travelled.
May I wish you, and your loved-ones, a happy, peaceful and enjoyable Easter.
Finally: why not take my Easter Challenge as well?
NOTE: If you would like to check out Dr Eben Alexander’s Book, here’s the link: