What Happens When We Die?

I drove my friend Pedro to Lowe’s to look at the pavers I want to use in the courtyard. As we drove up Wheeler Ave, we drove past Charlie Marshall’s funeral home, where there was obviously a funeral being held. As we passed by, I asked Pedro, “What happens with this person who passed away?” Without even a second’s hesitation, Pedro answered in his heavily accented English, “Thees man is no more . . . he is gone . . . he goes into the grave and remains there until the resurrection . . . there is nada!  It ‘ees what da Bible says!”  I chuckled and asked him if he was certain . . . to which he assured me he was and insisted the Bible said that very thing. I asked him where in the Bible I might find that. He paused and quite sheepishly admitted that he didn’t know where I might find that in the Bible, but he did know it said that very thing.

There are many views about what happens at death. Did you know that medical science is in the process of changing its mind on this very subject? I just read a pretty interesting news report (medical) in Newsweek (2/10/18) concerning the subject of what happens when one dies.

For many years it was just accepted that when one’s heart stopped beating and blood circulation ended that one died, but since the invention of CPR, that view seems to be changing. Many who were pronounced dead have been brought back to life over recent years.

Contrary to what has always long been accepted, it seems that over the last few years scientists have seen repeated evidence that once you die, your brain cells take days, potentially longer, to reach the point past which they’ve degraded too far to ever be viable again. This does not mean you’re not dead; you are dead. Your brain cells, however, simply may not be.

“What’s fascinating is that there is a time, only after you and I die, that the cells inside our bodies start to gradually go toward their own process of death,” Dr. Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at New York University Langone Medical Center, told Newsweek. “I’m not saying the brain still works, or any part of you still works once you’ve died. But the cells don’t instantly switch from alive to dead. Actually, the cells are much more resilient to the heart stopping—to the person dying—than we used to understand.”

Moreover, Scientists working on human cadavers have from time to time observed genes that are active after death, according to University of Washington microbiology professor Peter Noble. For a 2017 study published in Open Biology, Noble and his colleagues tested mice and zebrafish and found not just a handful, but a combined total of 1,063 genes that remained active, in some cases for up to four days after the subject had died. Not only did their activity not dissipate—it spiked. “We didn’t anticipate that,” Noble told Newsweek. “Can you imagine, 24 hours after [time of death] you take a sample and the transcripts of the genes are actually increasing in abundance? That was a surprise.” Perhaps you might want to reconsider that cremation thing. If it is true that the brain cells are still alive . . . that just might be the proverbial ‘rude awakening’ . . . pardon the pun . . . I just couldn’t help myself!

My personal belief is based upon my reading of 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, which I interpret the Apostle saying in vs 8 that absent from the body means present with the Lord.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *