The grasp we humans have on consciousness is tenuous at best.
Last year, a heart attack wiped out my alert and oriented level of consciousness for 45 days along with a significant portion of my short-term memory. While on the “Cath-Lab table,” I vomited, aspirated and my heart stopped beating. I awoke 45-days later.
Medical professionals used to view consciousness as either conscious or unconscious. Now, however, they understand there are levels of consciousness. Doctors and Dentists now possess a means of lowering your level of consciousness until you can’t remember what happened to you, although it may appear you were awake the whole time.
A friend of mine wrote, “In surgery, I trust the one who puts me to sleep to wake me up. The same is true in death, I trust the Lord to wake me up.” His trust in the one who puts him to sleep is misplaced. There are too many variables. I’m living proof of that.
His trust in Christ is not misplaced. We can fully trust the Creator to keep us conscious after death. The rich man and Lazarus of Luke chapter 16 both were conscious in the Hadean realm. They even had a conversation, so they were living, thinking beings.
We can rely on Christ to raise our bodies up in union with our departed spirits when he comes on the last day (1 Corinthians 15:20-21). The apostle Peter wrote of a living hope we have from the resurrection of Christ (1 Peter 1:3). Remember, Peter saw the resurrected Lord just as Paul did on the road to Damascus.
It is my responsibility now to prepare myself for that day by obeying the gospel through faith, repentance, confession and baptism and by living as a Christian. If I do that, and build my faith every day I will see God in my body (Psalm 17:15).