There seem to be the opinion that Death originated with God i.e. he decreed it as “punishment” for sin. The following are reasons why we can biblically reject this hypothesis.
- God is Life and the source of Life.
We see from scripture that Jesus is the “The Life” (John 11:25, 14:6) and “the Author of Life” (Acts 3:15). We also see that God has life “in himself” (John 5:26) as also do Jesus (John 1:4, 5:26) and the Spirit (John 6:63)
“For God created man for immortality and made him as image of his own eternity” (Wis 2:23)
- Death is God’s enemy, not his agent
We read that ALL enemies must be destroyed and the final enemy is death (1 Cor 15:25-26) which has already been swallowed up (1 Cor 15:54) and destroyed by Christ (2 Tim 1:10)
God is stronger than death – it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus (Acts 2:24)
Death itself will come to an end (Rev 20:14, 21:4)
- Death is portrayed as a consequence not a punishment handed out by God.
In Genesis God warns Adam of the poison of the Tree, he doesn’t threaten him (Gen 2:17) Death is the “wages” (remuneration/salary) of sin and it is directly contrasted with what God brings (Rom 6:23).
We see that Death came through man (Rom 5:12, 1 Cor 15:21) not a decree of God. When we turned from God we placed ourselves under Satan’s domain, and Satan has the power of death (Heb 2:14)
The Book of Wisdom echoes these truths…
“… the ungodly summoned death by their words and works” (Wis 1:16)
“… death entered the world by the envy of the devil” (Wis 2:24)
“For God did not make death, neither does he have pleasure over the destruction of the living. For he created all things that they might exist…for there was no poison of death in them, nor was the reign of Hades on the earth. For righteousness does not die.” (Wis 1:13-15)
- Jesus came in order to destroy Satan and bring life
He took us out of darkness into light (Col 1:13), destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and removed from him the keys of Death and Hades (Rev 1:18).
Jesus is the bringer of life (John 10:10, 10:28, 1 John 4:9). Life is in the Son, so if we don’t have the Son we don’t have Life (1 Jn 5:11-12). Jesus frees us from fear of death (Heb 2:15) having destroyed death to bring us immortality (2 Tim 1:10).
We can therefore have confidence that God is the Author and Source of Life not the Author of Death. Outside God there is no Life. If we turn from the source of Life we get death by default, not by punishment. By his death and resurrection Jesus came in order to destroy and defeat the last Enemy of God and man: death itself.