Seeking Immortality
By Anthony Casperson

Have you ever stopped to think about all of the stories we humans have where a character attempts to cheat death?

Fantastical tales where people seek the undeath of vampires or liches. Or attempts to bring someone back from the dead through some forbidden or dangerous magic and alchemy. Some sci-fi stories dip into ideas where people place their consciousness into a digital/mechanical/bio-engineered avatar. And an occasional tale even shows a character outsmart a personification of death itself.

A recent YouTube video reminded me that many of these types of stories end poorly for those who seek this endeavor. They discover that undeath is worse than death itself. Or they come to realize that what the magic creates is only a monstrous facsimile of life that is not worth the cost paid to make it. Life without a human body is found to be a deathless hell. And outsmarting death ends with the person needing to run from it in an endless loop until finally they fail and fall.

Human stories show we finite beings attempting to seek immortality or resurrection again and again. Yet, many of the methods end in disaster. It’s more like the tales are meant to warn us away from seeking such things because they’ll only lead to more pain.

It makes me wonder why real people want to attempt certain aspects of these warning stories. Why are there transhumanists who desire to transcend humanity’s mortal coil when so many books/movies/video games showcase the problems time and again?

I think that part of the answer can be found when we consider what the context is of the few stories where overcoming death comes without such tragic ends. Where the dire warnings are not needed. These seem to arise from stories where a divine agent provides life to the individual. A godly miraculous event. Divinity alone is capable of creating life without the down sides.

Thus, it seems that humanity’s attempts to ignore the disastrous warnings are from an unwillingness to accept that there is a real God who placed a sense of eternity into our hearts. One who created we human beings to be immortal, even though we traded that life for selfish rebellion against his commands.

Death is freedom from those bonds that separate from God. At least for those of us who bow before the cross of Jesus. Resurrection and immortality await his followers. And without any problematic warning.

For those who refuse to accept the sacrifice of Jesus, the best version of immortality is one where they make it themselves—even though it does have downsides. And this is because if God does exist—and they have rejected him—then they will also have an endless existence. But it will be one of separation from anything good and holy. One of pain and agony without relief. An endless state of being of their own making where nonexistence would be preferred.

But that makes me feel the need to ask, “Why seek the godless methods of immortality that come with all sorts of warnings, if there’s a much better—and surer—path to it through the cross of Jesus?”

Let the One who placed eternity into our hearts lead us to immortality through his death on the cross.