Death is an unavoidable part of living in this world
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.
God is eternal. God never dies. But human life, by contrast, is fleeting. It is over so quickly.
Psalm 90:5-6 You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered.
Psalm 90:10 Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away.
There is simply no way to avoid the fragility of life. Some live longer. Some live easier lives. But we’re all going to die.
We are wise to face death and to live life accordingly
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
This begins by realizing how brief life is. Our time is limited. No one lives forever in this world. When you understand that, you have an opportunity to grow in wisdom. This wisdom is to live your life in light of that inevitable reality. Since death is coming to us all, how should we live while we’re here? We should live wisely. But that doesn’t mean that because life is short, we should just party. The biblical perspective is not “You only live once” so throw all caution to the wind. Rather, we live with reference to God.
Psalm 90:8 You spread out our sins before you – our secret sins – and you see them all.
Wisdom means that we realize that when this short life is over – all too soon – we are accountable to God for what we did with the years he gave us. In the rest of the Psalm, to live wisely is to live in dependence on God, trusting him for all things.
Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives
We may not have that many mornings, but as many as we have, we can live them in the satisfaction of God’s unfailing love. That’s what gives us lives of joy.
Psalm 90:17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!
A life of trusting God is not idle. Life can be very meaningful. We want the efforts we pour our lives into to be successful. Wisdom means understanding that any such success comes from God. So in light of life’s brevity, we live in dependence on him. You can think of some other ways that knowing and embracing your mortality will change what you do with the days you have.
For those who belong to Jesus, death is not to be feared
Hebrews 2:14 Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
For Christians, death no longer has the power it once had. It doesn’t have the power to separate us forever from God. Death is still sorrowful because it represents a loss. Death may still be painful or difficult physically. But ultimately, for followers of Jesus death has become nothing more than a portal into God’s presence. Death is not to be feared because Jesus took away the sins of his people, acting as both our High Priest and the sacrifice the Priest makes for sins.
Hebrews 2:17 [As our] High Priest before God, then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people..
Our eternal destiny is secured by Jesus’ sacrifice. This gift belongs to everyone who places their trust fully in Jesus and Jesus alone. So if you have a healthy, honest understanding of death, you can have a healthy approach to grief. We still grieve, but not without hope. We understand the bigger picture about life and death.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- What comes to your mind when you think about dying?
- Read Psalm 90. How do your feelings about life and death compare to this Psalm?
- How does knowing that you will die affect the way you live?
- Read Hebrews 2:9-18. Why did Jesus have to experience death? What was the result?
- With verse 15 in mind, why do people fear death? In what ways do people express that fear?
- How does the work of Jesus apply to our fear of death?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.