Updated: Nov 14, 2021
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life”.
The Bible is a narrative about all of God’s mighty acts of deliverance. So too we see within the narrative structure of The Lord of the Rings Divine Providence and all human history played out within a framework of sanctification, bondage, and redemption.
All of us are so intoxicated with life, with self-promotion and materialism that we fail to see our reality, the ultimate reality that surrounds us. It is only through personal tragedy and adversity or national crisis that we are forced to look life in the face.
In Tolkien’s works he wanted people to see how the activities of the invisible realm intersected our reality each day. Tolkien designed his imaginary world in such a way as to invoke the feeling of a transcendent agency or power. We see also our pathetic human condition with our broken wills, the reality that all us of are to blame for sin, evil and injustice in our world.
Death has always been a major concern of humanity since the beginning of time and history. Finding the secret of immortality and escaping death has become the subject of myths, ancient stories, and science. Among philosophers who have addressed the subject of death, Martin Heidegger addressed not only immortality and life after death but also our view of death during one's existence. In his view, man through death becomes aware of his finitude. People do not want to talk about death. It is the last obscenity we face. Death ‘cannot be outstripped or outwitted’ and is beyond the scope of experience or phenomenological (felt) investigation or science. What can be experienced is being-alongside-death (i.e. other people’s death) and the ‘respectful solicitude’ that helps familiarize us with our own potential death.
But death is not ok nor just a part of life as we often hear. Death is the result of a broken world and our broken wills. We experience in life, sickness, aging, and death, but none of these things existed in the beginning.
Paul reminds us in Romans 6-8 of the slavery and bondage of sin and death and how evil pursues these ends for nothing more than pleasure, anarchy, and destruction.
In our world now and in the past, there are many examples of how God walks with us through life. Moses was a biblical example of God caring for him from birth until death and after.
There is a thin line between life and death and the hourglass empties when we least expect it. Our time to get right with God is now! You never know if you will be alive tomorrow, life is brief. The apostle Paul tells the church in Ephesus, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Many people sadly are born and die not knowing or understanding what life is about.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this scene from the Lord of the Rings the Return of the King movie we catch glimpses of Gandalf’s wisdom and knowledge of life and death.