There’s one thing we humans have in common with oysters. And that is we, like oysters, die. There is, however, one big difference between us and oysters—and that is, we know that we are going to die. Oysters don’t.
And yet that’s perhaps the difference that makes all the difference in the world. In a book about the end of all things, scientist Brian Greene quoted historian Oswald Spengler. “ ‘Man is the only being that knows death; all others become old, but with a consciousness wholly limited to the moment which must seem to them eternal,’ knowledge that instills the ‘essentially human fear in the presence of death.; Spengler concluded that “every religion, every scientific investigation, every philosophy proceeds from it.” (Greene, Brian. Until the End of Time. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.)
Many philosophers have written that, in the end, death and the fear of death and the attempt to solve it, to overcome it, or to avoid it is what drives all human thought. Maybe? But one thing is certain: science had not solved the problem of death and philosophy has not eased the fear of it.
Of course, here is where the Bible comes in, especially the New Testament. And what does it say about death but, over and over and over, that, in Jesus, death has been defeated and that, in Jesus, we can have the promise of eternal life? Just a smattering. “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26). “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4). “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
And, yes, these are promises to us, to you and to me—and not to oysters.