What happens when we die? – The Spirit/Soul Separates from the Body

In his poem “If You Could See Me Now”, Patsy Stambaugh says this:

“If you could see me now you wouldn’t shed a tear.
Though you may not understand why I’m no longer there.
Remember my spirit that is the real me because I’m still very
Much alive, I’ve just been set free, Oh, if you could only see!”

As we all know death is separation. In death we experience many separations. The spiritual death is separation of the soul from God. Eternal death is the final separation from God, also called the second death.

The Physical Death is the separation of the soul from the body. This is the separation or death that we are more accustomed to experience. In the story that Jesus told in Luke 16: 19-31, he mentions that separation: “[22] “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.”

Let me share with you what we learn from Jesus about this separation.

A – An Immediate Separation

The first thing that we learn is that this separation is immediate. As Paul says, it is “in a blink of an eye”. When a person dies his or her soul separates immediately from his or her body. “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it Ecclesiastes 12:7.”There is no lingering. This event is immediate. The text that we mentioned above makes clear that when Lazarus died he was immediately taken to Abraham’s side.

B – Irreversible Separation

The second thing that we learn about that separation is that it is irreversible. There is no return. In the story Jesus also emphasizes that the separation cannot be reversed, here is the text: “[26] And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”In Job we hear the same thing:“Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return. Job 16:22”

C – The Soul goes before God

Finally, at that point the soul faces its first judgment. Jesus did not describe this part with details, but it is clear that both of them went through some sort of judgment to have their destination decided. In the letter to the Hebrews we learn what happened at that moment: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, Hebrews 9:27.” 

On top of the spirit/soul being separated from the body, we have other separations that also cause so much pain. It is the separation from family and friends. There is a Brazilian chorus that describes not only the hope, but the comfort that death could bring to each one of us. I translated the meaning but I was not able to duplicate the poetry:

When my eyes close

Jasiel F. Botelho

When my eyes close for that great trip, 

I went to Jesus. 

When you look for me and do not find me, 

I went to Jesus. 

When your eyes cry because you miss me 

I went to Jesus.

I live this life waiting for that day, 

When I am going to live with Jesus.

When your eyes close, for that great trip, 

Would you go to live with Jesus? 

When I look for you and do not find you 

Will it be because you went to live with Jesus? 

Because the Lord had suffered on the cross, 

Just to save you

Ask God the forgiveness of your errors

And receive Jesus, yes Jesus, the Savior.”

Have a blessed week,

Pastor Lucas

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