Death Isn't Natural
Russell Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He formerly served as Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and executive director of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement. Dr. Moore is the author of The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective (Crossway, 2004) and Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches (Crossway, May 2009).
- 2010 Apr 05
On a Saturday long ago, our Lord Jesus was a corpse. This isn't natural.
Problem is, death seems normal to us. Darwinian naturalism, along with most contemporary philosophies, assumes that death is the natural ending point to life. The Christian gospel insists otherwise, seeing death as an alien invader of the cosmic order, a curse from the Edenic fall, and a strategy of an enemy spirit to crush God's image-bearing humanity (Heb. 2:14-15).
In Scripture, death is personified as itself an enemy, indeed the final enemy to be placed under the feet of a triumphant King Jesus (1 Cor. 15:24-26).
Death in all its forms, from animal predation to "natural" disasters to "old age" expiration, all point to the cold truth that God is not ruling the cosmos through his human mediators in the way he intended at the start.
In the present age, all people still grow old, get sick, and die. There is a sundering of the body from the soul, a violent act that tears at God's original creational purpose of breathing his life into the man of the dust (Gen. 2:7). When a man dies, his flesh reverts back to the dust of the earth, a seeming contradiction of God's creation.
There is one Man, however, who does not owe death as the wages of sin. He cannot be accused by the ruler of this age, because He alone has an untroubled conscience before the tribunal of God. He's not a corpse anymore.
The resurrection of Jesus is the first wave of a counter-revolution that will turn back death's tyranny and satanic rule forever.
Death isn't natural at all.