What Does it Mean to Have “Fallen Asleep?”
The Bible sometimes uses the quaint phrase “fallen asleep.” It’s a polite way to say that someone died. I smile at this ambiguous language and wonder why Bible writers used a euphemism instead of being direct.
But I think there might be more to it. To say “fallen asleep” is not merely an understated way to communicate that someone’s life is over. It’s a hint that there is another life awaiting us after death, that we will awake to a new kind of existence.To say “fallen asleep” is not merely an understated way to communicate that someone’s life is over. Click To Tweet
Just as natural sleep is a respite between one day and the next, so too figurative sleep is a transition from one form of life to another. While our body ceases to function, our spirit moves on to a new dimension. And we must first “fall asleep” to make that transition.
When the Bible talks about those who have “fallen asleep,” it’s more than a gracious way to say someone died, it’s the suggestion there is even more to look forward to as we move into the spiritual realm. But first we must sleep; we must die.
How do you view death? Do you have hope in what comes next?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.