There is a popular belief that when a person dies, they are able to observe their own wake. However, it is important to examine this idea in light of the biblical doctrine of the immortality of the soul.
According to scripture, the traditional view that the soul is immortal and conscious after death is questionable. In this article, we will explore what the Bible teaches us about death and the biblical perspective regarding whether it actually happens. when a person dies they see their wake.
Death in the Bible
The Bible addresses death as an inevitable event and part of the human condition. In Genesis 3:19 we read: “You will eat bread by the sweat of your face until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust and to dust you will return.” This highlights the mortality of humanity and how we all return to the dust of the earth after death. The Bible does not suggest that the soul is immortal and remains conscious after death.
The Sleep of the Dead
The biblical doctrine of the “sleep of the dead” is a fundamental concept. The Bible often describes death as a state of unconsciousness. For example, in:
Ecclesiastes 9:5, we read: “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing.” This suggests that the dead have no knowledge or awareness of what happens on Earth after death.Ecclesiastes 9:5,
Job's Vision: A Reflection on the Human Condition
A relevant passage in the Bible that addresses the nature of death is found in the book of Job, chapter 7, verses 7 and 8:
“Remember that my life is a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again. The eyes of those who now see me will no longer see me; your eyes will look for me, but I will be far away.”
Job expresses the brevity and fragility of human life. He describes death as the final separation of those who departed and those who remain on Earth. There is no mention of a consciousness after death, but rather an emphasis on mortality and the inevitability of departure.
Resurrection of the Dead
If when a person dies they see their wake, does this mean that they are still alive, since if they are still alive for Jesus to come back? Why resurrect the dead when they are already alive? Since Christ's promise is the resurrection of the dead.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.John 6:44
Believing that when a person dies they see their wake completely nullifies Christ's promises:
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice.John 5:28
Christian hope is firmly based on the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” The Bible teaches that, at the end of time, the dead will be resurrected to face God's judgment. This implies that life after death is not an immediate continuation of consciousness, but rather a future hope based on faith.
The Promise of Resurrection and Eternal Life
The biblical view of death is not of a state of consciousness after departing this world, but rather of a state of unconsciousness. However, Christian hope is centered on the resurrection of the dead and the promise of eternal life with God. This is emphasized in passages like John 5:28-29, where Jesus said: “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.”
This promise of resurrection is a source of comfort for believers, as it means that death is not the end, but the beginning of eternal life in communion with God.
- Eternal Life with God: The Bible offers the prospect of eternal life with God after the resurrection, not a wake-watching state.
- Understanding the Wake: The idea that a dead person can see their own wake finds no support in the Bible. Death is a state of unconsciousness.
- Comfort in the Hope of the Resurrection: The biblical doctrine of resurrection offers comfort to those facing the loss of loved ones, as the promise of eternal life is founded on faith in God.
Conclusion: When a person dies, they see their wake
The biblical perspective on death and the wake is clear: the soul is not immortal and conscious after death, so when the person dies and sees their wake, the answer is no, because the soul dies just like the dead person. The Bible teaches that death is a state of unconsciousness, and the hope of believers is in the resurrection of the dead.
Therefore, the idea that a dead person can observe his own wake finds no support in scripture. Instead, faith in the promise of eternal life with God is the foundation of hope for Christians in the face of death.
Conclusion: The Hope of the Resurrection
In light of the biblical doctrine of death and the perspective on the wake, it is clear that the idea of a dead person observing his or her own wake finds no support in Scripture. The Bible teaches that death is a state of unconsciousness and that believers' hope lies in the resurrection of the dead and the promise of eternal life with God. Therefore, instead of fearing death, Christians can find comfort in the hope of the resurrection and the confidence that eternal life awaits those who believe.