Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dead is Dead

No sir, I will not recant. In fact, I shall say it yet again. There are no degrees of deadness.

Dead is dead. Jairus' daughter was still warm and her face was flush with the very fever that had only recently taken her young life. An ignorant passerby might have reckoned her to be sleeping. But she was dead just the same.

The widow's son was deathly cold. His skin was pale with a green hue, blackness had set in around his eye sockets, and his blue lips would betray any false claim to life. He was dead, but no more or less so than the 12 year old girl. The people of Nain wept with his mother and were rightly carrying his body to the sepulchre.

And Lazarus, by now he stinks. Dead for four days, the worm of corruption had begun to gnaw away at his jawbone and the maggot of death was leaving a foul stench in the wake of its gruesome meal. And although the gases of decomposition made his earthly remains a gruesome sight to behold, he was no more or less dead than the beautiful warm damsel lying in her room while the mourners broke the news to her mother.

Dead is dead. Though it manifests itself in varying ways and to different degrees, dead is dead. The warm respectable corpse and the cold skeletal remains are equally dead. And so it is with the unredeemed. Dead is dead.

You sir, in the pew without Christ, seated in your suit piously singing the songs of Zion, you sir, are dead without the touch of grace. And you, ma'm, in the corner of the choir loft, unregenerated and dabbling in sin, secret sins, little-known sins, thought to be dead only by those who know you best, you ma'm are dead to God. And you, grandpa, stumbling from the tavern into the street, unconverted and unmistakably undone, you sir, are very much alive to sin but very much dead to God.

And though the clutch of death manifests his icy grip differently, all are as dead as the subject of last month's obituary.

Dead, dear sir, is dead.