The Cosmic Cemetery
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—1 Corinthians 15:55–57
Ours has been called the Culture of Death, largely because we have embraced the killing of innocents as a national right instead of as an ungodly wrong. However, there is a conspiracy of silence about death itself that permeates our society in many ways we rarely consider. Though a commonplace occurrence, death is something we keep hidden or masked. For example, funeral parlors are made to look like houses; comfortable places that don’t stand out. We put makeup on our dead to make them look lifelike because we do not wish to be reminded that they are dead. We try our best to ignore death, to pretend it doesn’t exist. But death is the reason Christ came.
He came to conquer death, to trample it down so that it will not separate us from God. That is the horror of death—separation from God—and that is what the victory of the cross is all about.
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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.
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