When viewing the special exhibition, “The Book of the Dead” at the British museum, I learned that one of the ancient Egyptian beliefs was that after a person was dead, that person’s living relatives could write letters to the dead. These relatives were known as the “cult of the dead”. One letter that was supposedly written/inscribed on a funerary stela/tablet around 2100 BC was the following:
“How are you? Is the west taking care of you, as you desire? Look, I am your beloved on earth, so fight for me, intercede for my name! Drive off the illness from my limbs! May you appear for me as a blessed one before me, that I may see you fighting for me in a dream. I shall lay down offerings for you when the sun’s light has risen and I shall establish an altar for you!” This letter was a plea for intercession by the living to the one who had died.
Those living today need an intercessor as well; one who will fight for them. The Bible informs us that there is one, in fact only one who is The Intercessor and His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind and He rose from the dead to stand in the presence of God as the High Priest who intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). All we need to do is trust and believe in Him for there is no condemnation to anyone who believes in the Name of Jesus Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1). Do you?
Romans 8:34 (KJV)
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
While visiting the special exhibition of the “Book of the Dead” in the British Museum, we came to learn that according to an ancient Egyptian belief, on the day a person dies (the day of burial), the dead person moved from the world of the living to the world of the dead. Other common world beliefs and religions ascribe to something similar as well.
However, unlike the ancient or current belief that a person moves from the world of the living to the world of the dead, when they die, the Christian Faith prescribes an antithesis. In fact, when a person who believes in Jesus Christ dies, they don’t move from the world of the living into the world of the dead, but quite the contrary; they move from the world of the dead (in sin) to the world of the living (for all who are in Christ shall live, even if they were dead (physically)).
Do you belief in Jesus Christ, the author of Life, in both this world and the world to come?
Romans 3:23 (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 6:22-23 (KJV)
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Sangeetha, Reuben and I were fortunate to see the ancient Egyptian “Book of the Dead”, which was on exhibition at the British Museum. The book of the dead wass displayed in seven sections to depict the journey that the person takes when they die. These include:
1. Preparation for the afterlife
2. The day of burial
3. The mummy in the tomb
4. Empowering the dead
5. Avoiding the disaster
6. Judgment and
7. The perfect afterlife
According to the ancient Egyptians, when a person died, they went on a journey through the world of the dead or ‘the netherworld’. So they put in the tomb a papyrus roll with written spells and pictures which was known as the Book of the Dead. They believed that the specialist knowledge and magical power contained in these texts would assure them of a safe journey to the perfect afterlife through the landscape (rivers, mountains and caves) and many guarded gates.
Unlike the Book of the Dead belief, the Bible teaches us that the safe journey to the perfect afterlife, which is to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, does not begin as a journey after the death of a person, but while he or she is alive. And instead of navigating through a netherworld using spells and texts, all one needs to do is to pass through THE DOOR (gate), Jesus Christ by faith and believing in Him to attain a safe journey to THE PERFECT AFTERLIFE.
Have you believed in Jesus Christ; THE DOOR? The journey is not later, but now. Where are/am you/I on that journey?
Hebrews 11:9-10 (KJV)
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
John 10:9 (KJV)
9 I [Jesus] am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.