- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions about Mankind or Humanity
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 16:45
When Paul says that David (Acts 13:36) "fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption," he is not speaking about David’s "immaterial being" (his soul and spirit), but of his body. The wonderful truth of believers sleeping when their souls depart (Genesis 35:18) refers to their bodies By speaking of believers sleeping, the Spirit reminds us that a change is certain. When the Lord said, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth" (John 11:11), the disciples did not grasp that He was about to display the glory of God (v. 40) in His power over death. The Lord’s describing Lazarus’ condition as sleep reminds us that our sleeping loved ones will soon awake, not as Lazarus to die again, but "out from death," to put on immortality (1 Cor 15:53). At the moment of departure, the soul of those loved ones enters a fully conscious realm in the presence of the Lord. Their body begins to "go to corruption," but this is only temporary. Those "who are fallen asleep in Christ" (v. 18) shall rise (1 Th 4:16).
"Fallen asleep in Christ" describes their position before God at the time of their death, but the expression, "asleep in (through, YLT) Jesus," is different. Translators offer a number of different locations for the expression "in Jesus" in verse 14. Commentators give several possible meanings. One very comforting possibility is that "through Jesus" expresses instrumentality. This may then imply that the personal touch of the tender Jesus has put His own to sleep. Just as a mother calms her troubled child until he falls into a restful sleep, so the Lord gently closes a believer’s eyes and takes him home.