to live and die

During a trip to Singapore, I was fascinated by the variety of cemeteries found there. One featured aboveground crypts with openings at the bottom. When I asked why the holes were there, my host explained that it was due to religious beliefs. The families of the deceased believe that the openings allow the spirits of the dead to move freely from their concrete confines.

Abraham needed a place for the body of his wife Sarah (Genesis 23:1-4). He wasn't concerned about obtaining a crypt with an opening. He simply needed a cave in which to lay his beloved Sarah to rest. During that time, it was expected that people would be buried in the place of their birth. That meant leaving Canaan (Israel) and heading all the way back to Ur (Iraq). But instead of following that practice, Abraham secured a tomb and buried Sarah in their new land, the promised land of God (v.11). This showed that he believed by faith that God had called them to live and die in Canaan. We also live with a new land in view.

The apostle Paul wrote, "As long as we live in these bodies we are not home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:6). When we die, we leave this world behind and our spirit goes to dwell with Jesus (v.8). There will be no looking back to the land of our physical birth, for our eternal "house in heaven" will be beyond compare (2 Corinthians 5:1). Paul penned, "Living means living for Christ, and dying is even better" (Philippians 1:21). For he knew death would lead to being in God's presence forever. Choose to live today with eternity in mind. There's no need to fear death, for "whether we live or die, we belong to [Jesus]" (Romans 14:8). He has already set our spirit free for all eternity! (Hebrews 2:15). , Tom Felten
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