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Death as Separation

Death as Separation

This past Sunday we discussed how death creates separation. I want to reflect on one of our discussion questions. The second question focuses on Jesus' transfiguration. As his glory is revealed two men show up, Moses and Elijah. What's really interesting about their appearance is that they are DEAD. But notice what they do. First, they appear. They don't have bodies, though the Apostle Paul says that at the return of Christ they will have a physical body fitted for eternity. Second, they talk. How do they talk? Science tells us that talking requires brain activity. These men don't have brains, they are disembodied spirits. So apparently our souls don't need our brains to think. Thirdly, they are recognizable. I don't know what age their souls were but they were recognizable. The Apostles recognized them as Moses and Elijah. After these men died they continued as Moses and Elijah. I think that's encouraging.

Where this helps me the most is when I think about my son Matthew. My son has Down Syndrome. His brain is broken. This text tells me that his soul isn't. His soul is limited in its expression by his broken brain, but he is still in there. This gives me great hope. The application is that I teach my son about Jesus and that whether his brain can understand it or not, his soul does. God is able to work in his soul in a way that I can't. So I teach him the Gospel and pray that God will work with him spiritually.

There is another text that is very instructive in this regard, Luke 1:39-45. John the baptizer is in his mother's womb when Mary who is expecting Jesus walks into her house. Elizabeth says this, "For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy." This is an example of what John's dad was told concerning him in Luke 1:15, "he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb."

John's brain wasn't fully formed. He wasn't talking yet. He wasn't even born. Yet, the Holy Spirit was communing with him.

Think about the nature of the soul and the person based on these texts.  


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