An Amazing Fact: When Harold West died, his doctor drove a stake through his heart to ensure he was truly dead. When he was buried, they didn't nail his coffin shut ... just in case he was not "completely dead." But West was no vampire; he was just an overcautious banker who deathly feared being buried alive. When West died at 90, he left a will directing that “my coffin shall not be screwed down and that a surgeon be instructed to pierce my heart with a steel or other instrument to make certain death has occurred.”
The Message: There have been other strange will bequests to be carried out after a person died. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek franchise, had his ashes flown into space on a Spanish satellite and then shot out as the satellite orbited the Earth.
Predeceased by his wife and two daughters, John Bowman, from Vermont, was convinced that after his death, the whole family would be reincarnated. In anticipation, he left a trust fund for the maintenance of his 21-room mansion, including a demand that servants prepare dinner nightly in case the Bowmans were hungry when they returned. The money ran out in 1950.
For years, critics have said the resurrection never happened because Jesus was not actually dead when they buried Him but rather in a comatose state from which He revived. Even some pastors are saying that Jesus was not really dead in the tomb, but that He entered a different realm to preach to the lost from past ages. But what does the Bible say?
“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth” (Matthew 27:57–59).
Even the chief priests testified to Pilate, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive …” (v. 63). Christ’s own enemies testified that Jesus was truly dead.
Indeed, if Jesus hadn't died—there would be no salvation from our sins. Fortunately, we can all be grateful that this wasn't the end of the story!
Key Bible Text: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit” (Matthew 27:50).
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