More importantly, remembering our death leads us directly to Jesus Christ. For starters, remembering our death is humbling. Death forces us to come to terms with our weakness, our neediness. It brings us to our knees, rubbing our faces in the sober acknowledge of our desperate estate. You are going to die.
When we first realize this, a haunting, inconsolable anguish fills the soul. Followed by a strong, desperate desire to outsmart death somehow. Followed even more quickly by a hopeless resignation: death is coming for you and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. No matter how good your life may be here, eventually death will rob you of it.
It’s at just this point that the breathtaking wonder of the gospel breaks on the horizon. For it’s against the backdrop of the bad news of death that the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ is so precious. For right at the center of the good news is a cross and a resurrection—a death that put death to death. That is to say, when a Christian remembers death, he remembers Christ, and to remember Christ is to remember life. For in Christ . . .
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:54–57)
You are dust and to dust you shall return, but dust you will not remain. For on the day of Christ’s return, a trumpet will sound and a voice from heaven will shout and the resurrection will begin. On that day, those “saints who from their labors rest” will meet “a yet a more glorious day.” The graveyards will become the harvest fields, and the dead in Christ will rise, robed in bright array, to meet the risen Lord and live with Him forever.
So, in death, brothers and sisters, let’s remember Christ—and live!