The Clarifying Reality of Death
Topic: The Meaning of Life Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:18–22
There’s nothing amusing about death. Most of us would rather ignore this whole topic and not think about it. In Ecclesiastes, the Preacher has set about to search out all that is done on earth under the sun. He is asking the question: Is there any ultimate satisfaction here? Is there any gain in living under the sun?
His answer has been decidedly negative. Life is like the vanity of chasing after the wind, like a puff of wind. Chasing after the wind but never actually catching it.
What has been in the background comes in the foreground today. To him, the brute reality of death makes all earthly life frustratingly useless. Death renders all of life vain, like a puff of wind.
Today we’ll look squarely at this comprehensive experience and see that the settled reality of our own death clarifies much of about the way we live.
We ignore this reality at our own peril. If we seek above all to be amused and entertained by the word, we will live a vain and meaningless life if that’s our purpose.
Death does clarify but not if we just ignore it. Ignoring it doesn’t clarify anything.
The organizing question today is: What does the reality of physical death tell us about life?
The Preacher answers this but he doesn’t answer it very well. He only looks under the sun. He has a limited perspective. His conclusions are limited. We’re going to wallow in the muck with the Preacher. At the end of it we’ll get out of the muck.
What does the reality of physical death tell us about life?