Monday, April 11, 2011

Sleeping in Death

It is a curious thing that Christians talk about death as a sleep. We do it because the Apostle Paul did it. It's a word that shows that death is --for the Christian-- but a rest prior to awaking from the tomb in the resurrection of the body.

But I noticed today (in the John 11 reading about Lazarus's raising) that Jesus was the one who said, "Lazarus is sleeping." When the disciples, in their characteristic dunderheadedness, said, "Oh, hey, if he's able to sleep, then he'll be getting better soon," Jesus told them, "Guys, hey, he's dead."

So Paul wasn't inventing some theological lingo. He just repeated what Jesus had said -- which is a very good way to be safe in your theology.

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