First person: Life, Death and Life After Death

This Sunday, people all over the world will gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is a good time to reflect on death, life and eternity, says longtime pastor Bill King.
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First person: Life, Death and Life After Death

The older we get, the more we realize that we are not going to live forever … at least not in this world.

The truth of that reality has not become realized reality to many young people. That was true of us older folks too when we were young. We just can’t remember that far back!

Not to be morbid or depressing, but the death rate is 100%. Always has been, always will be. That goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. No, they may not have dropped dead the day they ate the forbidden fruit, but have you seen either of them lately?

The reason we did all those dumb things we did as children, especially as teenagers, was because we had not witnessed enough death yet to take it seriously. I mean, who in their right mind would jump out of a tree and into a creek? Especially when the creek was not directly under the tree or anywhere close. I didn’t say I was giving personal testimony, but I’m not denying anything either. I will tell you this: solid ground, especially with rocks, hurts much worse than water.

We simply thought we could survive anything and live forever, or at least until we were ancient, which we thought was somewhere around 50. 


My first experience of someone I knew dying was my Grandma King. As far back as I can remember, she was sick and in bed. She had cancer. I don’t remember what kind or where, but I do remember the doctors removed one of her arms.

She lived in Tallapoosa, Georgia, which was 100 miles or so from my home in Rainsville, Alabama. We went to visit them quite often. She always had candy for me and sometimes a small toy. I was 5-years old the last time we went to visit her. In her last years, she lived with my Aunt Lula. Her bed was usually in the living room, but this time something was different.

She was still in the living room but asleep in a funny looking box. There were flowers all over the place. My uncles, aunts and cousins were there and a bunch of other people that I didn’t know. I don’t remember too much else about it, but Mama told me we wouldn’t be seeing Grandma King anymore. She said she had gone to live with Jesus. Because I loved my grandma so much, I remember being sad that she had left. She never came back and I never saw her again. 


Fast forward many years and I now have more family in heaven than I do on earth. The most devastating death came when I was 15-years old when my dad suddenly died. By that age, I understood more but still not enough. I did know he wasn’t coming back.

To my knowledge, everyone who has ever lived, with the exception of Enoch and Elijah, has died. Even Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, died. He did not die of natural causes, by disease, or by accident. He died at the hands of the Roman government.

Although he had done absolutely nothing wrong, he was executed like a criminal. The difference between Jesus and most everyone else is that he didn’t stay dead. He did come back. Three days after he died, and was even buried, he was alive again.

This Sunday, on the day most call Easter, people all over the world will gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is Risen! Happy Easter!

EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Bill King, pastor of Lanier Baptist Church in Lanett, longtime pastor and retired director of missions for Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association.