Since the wages of sin is death and the Lord Christ died on our behalf and saved us, why then do we die?
The Lord Christ saved us from spiritual and moral death.
With regard to spiritual death which is separation from God, the apostle tells us, “We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” (Rom 5:10).
As for moral death, the Lord delivered us from it restoring us to our first rank. He gave us again the divine image and as the apostle says about baptism, “For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:27).
We restored our moral position as God’s children (1 John 3:1) and temples of His Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).
He saved us from eternal death.
It is thus written in the Holy Bible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
Hence, the death of Christ for us gave us eternal life and by His death He saved us from eternal death. This is the basis of our salvation.
As for bodily death, it is no more death in fact. By bodily death we mean separation of the spirit from the body. Thus we say to the Lord in the Litany of the Departed, “It is not death of Your servants but rather transmission.” It is transmission to Paradise and to communion with the Lord Christ. Therefore St. Paul the Apostle desired this death, saying, “… having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
As St. Paul called it departure, so also Simeon the Elder called it. He prayed to God, saying, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.” (Luke 2:29, 30).
Each of these two saints : Paul and Simeon the Elder desired this (death), for each saw in it release from the prison of the flesh and St. Paul considered it far better than this life.
Hence, bodily death is not considered punishment.
It is just a golden bridge leading us to the happy eternity. Moreover, this so called death does great favour to us; for without it we shall remain in this corruptible nature of the flesh, whereas through it we shall attain a more sublime nature.
It is the way to put off corruption and put on incorruption.
God, the lover of mankind, does not want us to remain in this nature which became corrupt with sin, this corruptible nature which is subject to hunger, thirst, fatigue and illness and which can do wrong. He, in his love, wills to transfer us from such nature to a better condition of which the apostle said in (1 Cor 15:49), “As we have borne the Image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
He then explains in more detail, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Cor 15:53).
The apostle says also, “The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (1 Cor 15:42-44).
Death, then, is the natural way that leads us to the glories of the Resurrection.
If we continue in the present nature – without death – we would sustain great loss. Thus, it is not right to consider death as punishment, but rather as change into a better nature.
Suppose that God abolished this bodily death as a result of salvation, what can be expected as a consequence?
Do you think that remaining in this material body of dust is the optimum status for man?
Remember that this includes what accompanies the old age, whether weakness or sickness. Moreover the complaint of those around, as the poet said what means that a person hopes to live though long life may be harmful to him. He will lose his cheerfulness and finds pain after comfort. His days might betray him and he will find nothing pleasant.
The optimum condition for man is the bright spiritual body which rises in power, in glory and in incorruption and this is what God wanted for us by death.
The question might have been serious if there was no resurrection after death in such glory.
It is the resurrection that will deliver us from the bondage of corruption, for which the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs eagerly waiting for this redemption of our body (Rom 8:21-23).