People have a lot of different ideas about what happens to us when we die.

Some think that when we die, that’s the end of us; we’re buried or cremated and that’s it. But that view assumes that we’re made of flesh and blood and nothing else. The Bible teaches that we have souls, as well as bodies. Jesus once asked the question, ‘What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?’ (Mark 8:36). There is a real part of all of us that is not physical, and Jesus was saying that our souls are worth more than anything else, even our bodies. The reason for that is our souls will go on living even when our bodies are dead.

Some people think that we come back as someone or something else after we die. Actually, the Bible says that we only get one shot at life and that we don’t come back to this earth when we die. Instead, we will all have to meet God.

Still others will say something like this, ‘I’d like to believe in life after death, but no-one really knows. If only someone would come back from the dead and tell us’. Well, there’s something incredible that we need to know. Someone has come back from the dead and His name is Jesus Christ!

God is a pure and holy God, who cannot put up with our sin. We all know that when we do wrong, we deserve to be punished. God would have been justified in punishing us all by sending us to hell forever to pay the price for all the wrong things we have done. But instead of doing that, God chose to send His only Son into the world to be the Saviour!

Jesus could only help by coming down to earth and becoming one of us. He was born in a place called Bethlehem to a virgin called Mary. They laid Him in a manger and God sent angels to announce to shepherds this wonderful message about Him, “There is born to you in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2v11). An angel told Mary’s fiancé

Joseph in a dream, that the baby boy should be given a special name, which would explain why He had come to earth, ‘You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). Jesus grew up and lived an absolutely perfect life. Even the people who became jealous of Him, and hated Him, couldn’t find anything wrong in Jesus’ life at all.

Jesus was the most kind and wonderful person who ever lived. As a man, He went around the country of Israel teaching people about why He had come into the world, and doing many amazing miracles. He walked on water, healed the sick, made blind people see, made deaf people hear, made dumb people speak, and three times He even raised dead people to life again. One of them was a twelve year-old girl.

One day, Jesus told His disciples that He had to go to the city of Jerusalem where He must be arrested by the religious leaders and be laughed at, beaten, and then be put to death on a cross. Although this sounded terrible, Jesus then announced that on the third day after His death, He would rise again. Just as Jesus had said it would, all of that happened. It was only after Jesus came back to life again (the resurrection), that the disciples were able to understand why Jesus was willing to go through what He did. The Bible describes it like this, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15v3). This was the only way God could forgive our sins, someone had to be punished for them, and amazingly, that is what Jesus was willing to do.

What we need to do in response to all this is to own up to our sins. When we are truly sorry for all the wrong things we have done, and pray to the Lord Jesus asking Him to forgive us, He will. This is what it is to become a Christian, a follower of Jesus. As well as forgiving us, He promises us the gift of eternal life. That means that a new life has started inside us that will continue even when we die. Eternal life also means going to heaven to be with Jesus and with everyone else who has trusted in Him as their Saviour.

It is a brilliant thing to know where you are going when you die, and the only way to get into heaven is to believe in Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. The Bible warns us that if we don’t believe in Jesus as our Saviour, then when we die, we will be separated from God for ever and ever.