And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27 NLT
In her essay, “The Existential Frankenstein,” Jennifer McMahon attempts to prove several conclusions about death. The phenomena are ones proposed by existential philosopher, Martin Heidegger, and psychological theorist, Ernest Becker. They include denying death, ignoring the prospect of death, attempting to conquer death, and accepting death. By alluding to various scenes in the movie Frankenstein, she attempts to illustrate the first three phenomena. In addressing certain aspects of horror flicks, McMahon makes true statements about real life.
Many Biblical scholars believe humans would have lived forever had Adam and Eve not sinned. Disobedience had dire results, among them spiritual and physical. The prospect of death brings fear which in turn leads to anxiety. Adam and Eve didn’t experience this fear until they walked into forbidden areas.
Fear of death is an innate emotional state that begins troubling us as soon as we’re old enough to understand our mortality. The fear first haunted me when I was of middle school age. Even though a believer, I still dreaded the unknown. I can attempt to deny the prospect of death, but it will arrive anyway sooner or later.
I can also attempt to ignore it. My inattention won’t make it disappear. I—like many others, do this by busying myself with life’s mundane affairs. If I can fill my plate to overflowing, I won’t have time to think about it. Death will still come. In ignorance, I might even think medical science or healthy living will exempt me from it.
Healthy living is only achieved by accepting death’s reality. Contrary to McMahon’s conclusion that religious systems are invented to deal with death’s fear, belief in the One True
God is the only way to challenge this unnatural fear. Accepting Christ’s forgiveness of my sins—and believing he has a bright future in store for me where death will once again be absent, is the only way to conquer my fear of death and any unhealthy emotional states it may erect.
How are you confronting the prospects of your impending demise?
Prayer: Almighty God, we thank You that in Christ death loses its sting.