Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
When a golf round starts off bad, there is always the hope of a few birdies on the remaining holes which will clean up a scorecard. As the holes pass by, the hopes of a comeback grow slimmer and less likely. At the end of the round, the posting of a scoring is the ultimate judgment. We can use excuses, but our performance is solely judged by a number. Similarly on the first day of law school, we were warned not to get too close personally to our 100 classmates. We were told that many of them would not return after Christmas break. Many of us heeded this warning and worked hard, others laughed and found themselves home for the Spring or taking exams on academic probation. Sure enough at the end of three years, only a third of the class who heard that warning speech received a law degree.
It is the nature of man to haphazardly receive warnings. We still smoke, don’t exercise, eat fatty foods, and still “talk back” to our mothers. Some of the consequences are realized quickly while others become reality much later in life.
Jesus warned there are some among him who weren’t going to truly die until He returns again in judgment. Certainly all of them in His company realized that the physical death was to occur, but this death is not actually “tasted.” All who die are physically removed from family, obligations of a job, and the progressing pain of an aging body. Death is a rather quick process. The last stages of a disease or the injuries from a tragic accident are painful and result in misery, but the suffering is in reality “living.”
The unbeliever will die and be separated from the misery of these ailments just as the believer. However, the sinner shall not “taste of death” until he sees “the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” He will have a realization he will be punished, but the full “taste” will not occur until the judgment. The charges will have been placed against the sinner, but judgment has not been rendered. It is then when the books are opened that the unsaved man will fully realize this actual taste of death. It is then he will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. It is this this man who has died without the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will realize the totality of his failure to heed the warnings. All of his sensibilities will be amplified. His memory of all the sermons he sat through and the many times he was witnessed to by friends will be perfected. Warning after warning was given, but time was his ultimate excuse.
Let us be thankful that our salvation is our avoidance of the “taste of death.” For Jesus Christ suffered for this ultimate gain on behalf of those who place faith in Him as Savior and Lord.