Reflections: Death and the Meaning of Life

It has been a week I won’t soon forget. On 23 June 2009, Ed McMahon died. For me, Johnny Carson was the original Tonight Show host. I don’t remember any prior to that. Ed McMahon showed that being #2 can have its benefits as well. I don’t think Johnny would have been nearly the hit he was without Ed McMahon. Then, on 25 June 2009, Farrah Fawcett lost her long battle with cancer. As if that wasn’t bad enough, that same evening I began to hear rumors that Michael Jackson had died of a heart attack. Those rumors turned out to be true.

All of these people were cultural icons. All of them had become famous. All of them spanned generations with their influence upon the American experience. Yet, all of them shared the same fate as an unknown in a different part of the world. Death is the one shared experience of all human beings of all time.

God warned Adam that death would be the result of disobedience.

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

~ Ge 2:15-17

By ignoring this command, Adam and Eve set in motion a series of events that have caused pain and suffering down throughout mankind’s history. It is pretty certain that they did not imagine the full consequences of their disobedience. Pain, suffering and eventually death became the great equalizers.

Yet, God gave us a way out. Death does not have to be a permanent state. God desires that all come into His family (2Pe 3:9). He has a plan to provide everyone a chance to become part of His family and live with Him eternally. He sent a redeemer to pay the price for our disobedience.

In so many ways, these cultural icons were special. Yet, they were human. They suffered from various problems. They experienced pain, even as we do. It is part of the human condition.

Yet, it isn’t their death that God holds precious. It is the death of His saints that He regards.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

~ Ps 116:15

There will be a time when Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson will be resurrected back to life and have the books, that is the Bible, finally opened to them (Rev 20:11-12).

0 Comments

  1. And then today comes the news that Billy Mays was found dead.

    OK, he was famous for his loud commercials — but still, he was only 50 like Michael Jackson. (And, gulp, like me.)

    The lesson for me here is to give God thanks for every day of life you have. It's a rather trite line in some churches, but it's true: You've been given today – that's why it's called the "present."

  2. And then today comes the news that Billy Mays was found dead.

    OK, he was famous for his loud commercials — but still, he was only 50 like Michael Jackson. (And, gulp, like me.)

    The lesson for me here is to give God thanks for every day of life you have. It's a rather trite line in some churches, but it's true: You've been given today – that's why it's called the "present."

  3. And then today comes the news that Billy Mays was found dead.

    OK, he was famous for his loud commercials — but still, he was only 50 like Michael Jackson. (And, gulp, like me.)

    The lesson for me here is to give God thanks for every day of life you have. It's a rather trite line in some churches, but it's true: You've been given today – that's why it's called the "present."

  4. John D Carmack

    Well said, Richard! I never thought at my age I would see so many go so quickly.

  5. John D Carmack

    Well said, Richard! I never thought at my age I would see so many go so quickly.

  6. John D Carmack

    Well said, Richard! I never thought at my age I would see so many go so quickly.

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