If you lose a hand or foot or even an arm or a leg the strange thing is that, somehow, you’re still here. The hand or leg wasn’t you. So where exactly can ‘you’ be found? Most people today would say that ‘you’ are in your brain. So, whatever is happening inside the brain adds up to whatever or whoever ‘you’ are.
If that’s true, then it makes sense that when we die our consciousness dies too. Which means ‘You’ will never think again. No thoughts about friends or loved ones, no anger or sadness, no hopes for the future. Nothing will ever animate your mind again because your mind has disintegrated like a sandcastle on a beach. This is the view of the materialist. Materialists believe there’s nothing in existence except material things made of substances which, in turn, are made of basic elements.
There is a saying amongst Neuroscientists that, ‘The mind is what the brain does for a living’. It highlights the truth that the mind and the brain are different things. The brain is ‘wetware’ (as opposed to hardware or software). It’s a functioning organ of the body just like the spleen or liver. But the mind is what happens because of the brain. It’s the experience of being alive and conscious. The hope of Christians is that their experience of consciousness will, after they die, be revived in the future inside a resurrected body. It’s a hope based on the belief that there is a realm beyond the physical world ruled by a spiritual being who is the creator of all that we experience in this world. The bedrock of this hope is Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to earth from God. He came just as prophets had foretold over many hundreds of years. And when he came he demonstrated clear mastery over the material world. He walked on water, commanded the weather, healed all kinds of illnesses and, incredibly, raised people from the dead. After he was executed he himself rose from the dead.
But Jesus confronted the philosophy of materialism not just with deeds but also with words. To a crowd he said, ‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing’. Jesus’s challenge was that only through God’s Holy Spirit can we have real life now and eternal life forever. So, how does this happen? It happens when you give yourself to God. His Holy Spirit transforms you from the inside. And your mind becomes spiritually renewed. God’s promise is that this renewed ‘you’ will be with Him forever.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you that death is not the end. Thank you for loving us by sending Jesus so that we might be with you forever.
Verse: The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. John 6:63