Québec’s recent legalization of euthanasia gives us an opportunity to think about what life and death mean for us.
The Québec legislators assume that death is life’s natural end.
In this view, men and women are born, pass through a period of existence (either pleasant or miserable, depending on seemingly arbitrary factors) and expire, leaving behind little more than memories. Happiness is found in co-operating with one another and the environment for the best possible life experience.
Sometimes that experience is bad. Euthanasia, with or without limitations, is proposed to help people who, after trying all alternatives, have lost hope. It offers freedom from pain, suffering and trouble. It provides a quiet and easy departure into a final rest.
If life really were so meaningless, then those who are unable to enjoy it might be right to welcome an escape. But Québec’s government and other euthanasia advocates are missing reality. In spite of appearances, humans are intended not for death but for life.
Yes, we all die sooner or later, but death is not the purpose of the human race.
The Bible tells us that God created a living world into which death came only as a result of sin.
The gospel is the story of how the now-dying world can be restored to life through Jesus Christ.
All who believe in Him will experience the eternal life obtained by His death and resurrection. Men and women may live with God for ever.
These spiritual truths provide a new perspective on the euthanasia debate. If the current life is not ultimate, the pain and distress that might drive people to wish for death can instead be accepted– even enjoyed – as a good and needful part of anticipating the better life.
The one who knows the truth about life does not fear death, but neither does he seek it; he can better prepare for eternal life by living the human life at its fullest.
In other words, Christianity eliminates any need for euthanasia. Instead of death, Christians look forward to life.