Susannah Keogh, with the Irish Sun, reports:
Longyearbyen, [Norway], a tranquil town in the middle of nowhere, is so remote that residents are not allowed to die there.
Dying has been banned on the island since 1950, when it was discovered that bodies in the local cemetery were not decomposing because of the chilly temperatures.
The island’s climate is so arctic that in the 2000’s, scientists ... tested corpses buried there who succumbed to the 1917 influenza virus – and to their amazement, retrieved live samples of the virus.
Residents had been living among the deadly virus for decades, without even realizing it.
The graveyard no longer takes any new inhabitants because of fears disease will spread throughout the island, meaning that even those who have lived their whole life on the island, cannot be buried there.
Instead, terminally ill residents have to be shipped to the mainland to prepare for death.
This little Norwegian town had a big problem, but it wasn’t really with death. It was with the fact that death was not allowed to finish its job, to complete the process of mortification.
The same is true with us. Our biggest problem isn’t with death but with everything that falls just short of death. If we are to overcome sin, we must die completely to sin. Anything that falls short of that, allows sin to live on.
Of course, dying to selfish impulses provides momentary relief, but real victory only comes through the grave.
“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).