Article: Don’t Be Afraid Of Death | Lalachan Abraham

The oldest question in the world found in the oldest book of the Bible. The question is “If a man dies, shall he live again?” It was written approx 4,000 years ago and yet the subject matter is more relevant today than at any other time. What is death? , Is heaven real? , Is there Life after Death? Why would a loving God send people to hell forever? Life beyond death has always been a fascinating subject. There seems to be an increasing number of people who claim they have died and returned to life. Most describe death as being the most wonderful and glorious thing they have ever experienced. They vividly describe some sort of ecstatic feeling along with all kinds of visions of beautiful bright lights. Everyone is curious about the future.

Life is a mystery– from the flower that blooms on the valley, to the highest forms of conscious and intelligent existence. But what shall we say of death? Life, clothed with sensation, thought, intellect and activity was the last and highest act of the Creator’s power. But death — that mysterious change which defaced the beauty of this living creation, and breaks in pieces this most excellent monument of divine wisdom —The living inhabitant that once occupied it is gone to some distant world; and the once beautified, adorned mansion is already beginning to be decomposed, and returning to its original dust. Nothing but desolation and decay are visible, and the stillness of death reigns throughout its deserted chambers.

The fields of science have been explored by man’s wisdom and skill. By his authority over the elements, he has conquered the earth, ocean and space. But with all its capacity for great and splendid achievement, he has never been able to enlarge the boundaries of human life. Death’s arrows are sharp. His hand is certain and ruthless. The giant stalks unseen, and throughout all the vast arena of his conflicts, none can resist, or evade his ravages. We may weep. We may tremble. But we cannot escape his fury. Man has no power to ward off the stroke of death. But does the history of man terminate in the tomb? Is the grave a world of everlasting oblivion?

According to scientific theories, there are Biological Reasons for death. Billions of tiny cells that are glued together make up human beings In every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It’s made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person’s body should develop. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it. Psalmist says “I will praise God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works…. (Psalm 139:12)

Thus, these cells are nothing but minerals and water that make up the earth or the dust of the earth. As each of these billions of cells work “24/7” from conception, they wear and tear, just like any machine would. Our cells busily reproduce themselves throughout our lifetime. During all this multiplying and dividing of protein our DNA occasionally make a mistake. For several reasons they may break-down. “Spare parts” from other parts of the body may not be readily available to “repair” any damage. Scientists speculate that exposure to the toxins, chemicals and ultra-violate light breaks, twists, or scrambles these genetic codes. When enough bad products accumulate, cells begin to break down, and our bodies begin to show signs of ageing. By extension, death will come on a person, due to deprivation of essential maintenance such as lack of water, food, blood, oxygen, lack of supply of adequate minerals.

In similar manner, the human body can only survive in certain internal or external environmental conditions. Any extreme of temperatures or imbalance in Sun rays / wind/air or magnetic fields may poison or damage the body cells leading up to death. On the other hand, in the aging process, collectively therefore, the cells and organs of the body get tired and will, like any machine, break down. It can also happen to due to misuse or overuse of one’s body especially if such overuse is done without rest, maintenance or if done with abuse of one’s own body. This is what happens in aging process whereby essential parts of the human organs fail making it impossible for the organ to work in association with other parts of the human machine. Death will therefore come. This biological death is the death that comes upon human beings, plants and all animals.

Socially Death is necessary tool to eliminate people that may not promote the aim of the earth’s existence or existence of its inhabitants. The earth does not like anyone to be a burden on it or be a burden to others. Human beings must be free and able to function on daily basis. Any defect, illness, violation and break-downs are likely to result in death- This is exactly how human beings came to dying: being lawless to both Divine and Natural laws. Human beings (and all living things) were therefore “sentenced” to death after living for a while on earth, on account of human lawlessness to divine laws.

Romans 8:21 says, ALL creation is subject to “the bondage of DECAY.” Our world and the things in it are not eternal. It is not permanent. Since this world is fallen-it is decaying. Romans 6:23 says “Sin pays off with death.” Our sin separates us from God, the creator and sustainer of life. Life is in God. So, when we sin and become separated from God, we become separated from true life. When we rebel against God’s rule in our lives, we rebel against the Life, and therefore experience “death” (a brokenness resulting in pain). When we return to God, we are also restored to spiritual life—communion with God, a sense of purpose, righteousness, freedom, etc.

Scientists claim that the longest possible life span is between 115 and 120. But that’s nothing new” the Bible declares, “Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3). One of Satan’s deceptive methods of convincing people that there is no reason to think about death and judgment is to cause people to have a life, lives in denial, as if death and judgment will never come. But sooner or later, death comes to everybody and after that comes judgment.

We live our lives in denial, as if death will never come. Even though ageing cannot be avoided, people try to hide it. Facial Skin Care and Treatment and also Hair dye are the fast-selling cosmetics! “Old” people prefer to be called as “senior” citizens! It’s an instinct in man to stay and appear young. So many books and articles have been published by the secular press giving tips on maintaining youthfulness. They mostly talk about food habits, physical exercises and positive mental attitudes. Doctors and researchers are particularly anxious to learn what causes this rare cause of ageing. Everybody wants to live long, but nobody wants to get old and die. Many people, including Christians, are afraid of death or afraid of dying. Even David, a man who wrote much of the psalms, sometimes was afraid of dying: “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me”. (Psalm 55:4)

I was only ten years old when I attended a funeral service. It was my grandmother’s funeral; she was in her eighties when she passed away. For the first time in our home we experienced the pall of death. There were no Facilities for mortuary or funeral homes at the time so the body was kept for a day or so in the living room and then buried. Suddenly, in the household there was a silent corner. Almost unavoidably everyone spoke in low tones with grief. The reality of death is unmistakable. I have rather clouded memories of that event but I do remember well the Malayalam hymn that was sung at her funeral. To this day I cannot explain why, unless it is the power of music to express emotion when ordinary speech fails: If one tries to find out which is the song in Malayalam that the maximum number of people know, the answer is likely that there is no other funeral song that we hold close to our heart than this one.“Samayamam redhathil njan swarga yaathra cheyyunnu En swadesham kanmathinay njan thaniye pokunnu”… It is an absolutely beautiful song that was written by the missionary V. Nagel. Let me describe the meaning of that song ,

(“I am on my homeward (heavenly) journey…In the chariot of time, Running, striving all my way to see the land of my own ….Just a short while, then my voyage… Will be reaching to its end…Thank you Jesus, I’ll be with you very soon! When I wake up at the day break, I am blessed and fresh new day, for the end of my voyage, is closer than yesterday! While in peaceful night of sleep, I rest upon the arms of God…still my chariot wheels keep rolling, straight towards my sweet Homeland! It’s not a time to seek the pride of life, pleasures of this world or the lust of the flesh ….but Look upon the face of my God there , that’s all I want!….Nothing needed on my journey, that makes it so weighty….Just some water, and li’l bread, For the thirst and hunger sake……..How beautiful is my Homeland, How sweet is my Lord’s reward……No, I don’t want this world’s glory, and this world is not my real home!……I do have my Home eternal, By the shore of Paradise……Tree of life with fruits the sweetest, ……Angels waiting all my way long, Welcome me to my own Home…….Refresh my strength, restore my soul, Meet my needs ’till I’ reach my eternal Home there….I will praise God forever more, For He made me heir of this Glorious portion, Life eternal…With His Saints…)

Our journey towards haven begins much before we die. The above song is mostly about our walk with God while we are very much alive. Yes, this song does speak about death. But it is to make us aware that we have only a finite time on earth and hence to encourage us to live life wisely. Sooner or later, death comes to everybody. Is there Life after Death? Most of us only begin to ask these questions at the end of life, when the certainty of death can no longer be ignored. By that time we may be caught by surprise and ill-equipped to deal with the situation at hand. A perfectly natural, and even beautiful stage of life, becomes overcast with fear and confusion. Why wait ’til the end? Why not ask these questions now, while there’s time to make a serious investigation?

Now, no man would dispute that all men die sooner or later. Every single day, some 80,000 people die on Earth and slip into eternity, either into heaven or into hell. Although we may never know their names, the reality of death happens every day. In another 100 years, nearly everyone who’s on Earth today will be gone. It can happen at any time, to anywhere, to anybody. From the time that we are born we face death. And it is not just a risk of life, even before we have finished growing, our bodies begin to decay. We face every kind of disease, our strength is tapped and our bones and joints fail our eyes dim. Vigor is replaced with pain. We don’t need the bible to tell us we face death all day long. However, apart from the Bible we can only speculate answers to our questions about death beyond life. Bible alone discloses God’s purpose both for the present and the future life.

Death is by any measure, a painful thing to happen to anyone. Yet death is inevitable. Death happens to all living things that ever exist on earth: The great Greek philosopher Aristotle called death ‘the things to be feared most.’ He said this because to him death ‘appears to be the end of every-thing.” It is a proven fact that men can be wrong in what they say and believe. We know that death certainly is not the end of everything. There is life beyond the grave. It is said that when Socrates, the renowned Greek philosopher, drank the poison hemlock and lay down to die, he was asked by his friends, “Shall we live again?” The reply of Socrates was, “I hope so, but no man can know.”

When Job poses the question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” he immediately answers it: “… All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14). And he further states, “You shall call, and I will answer You” Job believed that, after death, God would call him and Job would be able to answer. He tells us more in chapter 19:25 good news Bible says “But I know there is someone in heaven who will come at last to my defense” And the answer Job gave was much different than the answer Socrates gave. Socrates hoped that he would live again. Job said that he knew he would live again. Socrates faced death with anxiety. Job faced death with assurance. Socrates was uncertain that he would live again. Job was certain that he would live again.

However the clearest Old Testament prediction of the resurrection was spoken by an angel to Daniel. Daniel 12:2-3 says “Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.”(NLT) Psalmist says “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.”(Psalm 16:10)

The predominant subject of Job chapter 14 is death. In verse 1, he speaks of, “Man who is born of woman. Is of few days and full of trouble “. Look at few vital thoughts that Job raises. The first thought is: we are led to think about the brevity and frailty of Human Life. Man, as he is short-lived, so he is sad-lived. At the very beginning of the chapter our thoughts are directed to the subject of brevity and frailty of life. As you read the Book of Job, you will find Job has much to say about our ‘days’. (Job 8:9) says “our days on earth are a shadow” (Job 10:20) says “our days few?” (Job 14:5) says “our days are determined.”These are just a few references of “days” in the Book of Job. We also see that there are many references to our “days” throughout the Bible. (Psalm 39:4) says “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” (Psalm 90:12) says “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

In our humanistic culture, people pursue many things, thinking that in them they will find meaning and contentment. Some of these pursuits include business success, wealth, good relationships, entertainment, and doing charity to others. People have testified that while they achieved their goals of wealth, relationships, and pleasure, there was still a deep void inside, a feeling of emptiness that nothing seemed to fill. A great celebrity who had reached the pinnacle of his life was once asked what you think about your great success in life. He replied, “I wish that someone would have told me that when you reach the top of this world, there’s nothing significant there.” Many goals reveal their emptiness only after years have been wasted in their pursuit.

The king Solomon and the writer of Ecclesiastes tried to search meaning for life by accumulating earthly things. Solomon said, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.” (Ecclesiastes. 2:10) If you read on you see he was telling the truth because he didn’t deny himself anything: He had wealth beyond measure, wisdom beyond any man of his time or ours, power, prestige, pleasure, palaces and gardens that were the envy of kingdoms, the best food and luxury, and every form of entertainment available. He said at one point that anything his heart wanted, he pursued. This richest and wise king had all this fallen world has to give- and he finally recognized that, “All was vanity, chasing wind; wasting time…Everything was meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

In short nothing in all creation separated him from doing whatever he wanted, taking whatever he sought. And yet he summed up “life under the sun”—is meaningless. Why is there such a void? God created us for something beyond what we can experience in the here-and-now. Solomon also acknowledged that “God has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). In our hearts we are aware that the “here-and-now” is not all that there is. This truth was confirmed when Jesus said: “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Of course, believers aren’t exempt from dying physically, but Jesus promised that they will live eternally. As the resurrection and the life, He will “waken” their bodies someday. His power to do this was demonstrated when He raised Lazarus (John 11:43-44).

There is a living hope of life after death, through a resurrection at the appearing of Jesus Christ—the glorious second coming. This truth is found in the Bible in countless passages. The reason Jesus Christ means so much to the world is because he brought mankind a great new hope- The hope of life beyond the grave. He robbed death of its sting and the grave of its victory. He brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. 2Tim.1:10. While the original creation was perfect, it has now been corrupted by sin and reels in confusion in a vacuum of truth. Thankfully, God has not left us alone in hopelessness. Through Christ and the Cross, He has purchased and prepared a way back to life for those who are willing to receive it.

Until Jesus Christ came, men died without hope. Death was feared, for death was an enemy. Men hated it, fought against it, and dreaded its arrival. Jesus was victorious over Satan, sin, and death in man’s behalf. Jesus became flesh (John 1:14) and lived in the likeness of man without sinning (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22), and “in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5). He was the sinless Lamb of God who removed man’s sins (cf. John 1:29)! Through His death on Calvary’s cross Jesus brought salvation to men setting them free from the penalty of sin. God’s grace offers salvation to all men (Titus 2:11-12). The offer of salvation to all men is made possible through His blood (Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:8-9; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5); therefore Calvary (atonement) is an essential element in man’s salvation.

In the salvation of man, Jesus’ work was not finished when He died on the cross of Calvary. Vitally related to man’s salvation is the resurrection of Jesus! The resurrection of Jesus from the dead resulted in defeat for Satan who “had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). When His body was raised from the tomb (Luke 24:6) and His soul from hades (Acts 2:31), “death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9), nor over those who live in Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:6-13). He possesses the “keys of hades and death” (Revelation 1:18), signifying His power of these domains. His resurrection is described as “first fruits” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23), which serves as a guarantee that we too will be raised.

The resurrection of Jesus is the basis of our faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and our hope (1 Peter 3:15) in that “God . . . has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).With Jesus’ resurrection, God makes available to the sinning man an opportunity to reverse the condition of death imposed upon him by his sins. The opportunity enables and empowers us to be restored to life again (John 10:10; 6:63; 14:6; 1 John 4:9-10) and have the promise of “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2). 2 Timothy 1:10 teaches that Jesus, “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Immortality is the biblical doctrine that the soul of men, whether good or evil, lives on after physical death, either (1) in glory with God in the eternal state of heaven (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 21:1-70; or (2) in punishment in the eternal state of hell with Satan and his angels (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-20).

At the second coming of Christ all who experienced physical death and all who are living must be prepared for their eternal state of heaven by being changed in a “twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52-53) to live immortally in eternity. Jesus said they would hear His voice and come forth (John 5:28-29). His resurrection serves as a guarantee of our resurrection; i.e. He is the “first fruits” from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23). The Scriptures affirm a literal, physical, bodily resurrection of both “the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15; cf. John 5:28-29). God will call the dead and they shall arise. The redeemed will arise to receive eternal life in glory. Their bodies will be changed into an immortal form. They will see God face to face. How blessed we are to be able to say with authority that we KNOW that Christ is coming back for the Saints and will set up His everlasting kingdom.

Jesus promised a life of endless bliss and joy, a life where there would be no more pain, suffering, sickness, and death, Instead, Heaven, The Father’s house, the many mansions. A life with Christ in place where there would be joy unutterable and peace indescribable. What a prospect. Only Jesus was able to drawback the curtain and let us sees beyond the grave. Only He could tell about the future. No one else could, for no one else knew. Apostle John who writes 1 John 5:13 – I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. Each of us can have the assurance that we will live again after we die and that we will live forever. There was no uncertainty with Jesus Christ. He promised us a life beyond death.

When casket is closed and they have gazed at the beloved face for the last time, hope within them dies, and they wonder if they can go on living. John 14:1-2. Jesus opens the gate of heaven. He said. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In My Father’s house there are many mansions. And if not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Here we catch a glimpse of immortality and we learn that we may meet again in another world. Jesus said to His disciples Heaven as “My Father’s House”

Bible describes heaven as the Father’s House, New Jerusalem, the Holy city, city of God, What a beautiful expression. Heaven is larger by far than any city and beautiful beyond description. This city is 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long and most amazing of all it is 1500 miles high. It is so high that if it were divided into storeys, each 150 feet above the other, it would be so commodious that it would be abundant for all people of all ages. The city itself is made with pure Gold. There is a beautiful river in the city that flows from all the way from the throne of the King and winds around in every direction. Its crystal clear, pure water, is never contaminated. On the river’s side stands a tree full of life and capable of bringing healing to multiplied thousands. It is a city that no curse has ever blighted, and where nothing ever withers or decays. How I wish I could describe it, but I cannot. Words are so inadequate. You’ll have to see it for yourselves.

When a loved one dies, we are sorrowful because we miss them. This is natural; but we must remember that they are with the Lord Jesus which is far better than being here. If we could see how beautiful it is in Heaven, we would never want to bring them back here. Jesus Christ will one day return and bring His children with Him. Death is not the tragic final act in this drama we call life, but instead death is a glorious Homecoming with our Heavenly Father and with our loved ones who have gone before us. Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones”. The death of a faithful one is precious to the Lord because through death that loved one is now in the very presence of God. This is why Jesus said “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”(Matthew 10:28)

Therefore Jesus confronts humanity with a profound question of reality: He asks: What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Mathew 16:26). God wants us to gain the world, but never at the expense of losing our relationship with God. After Adam and Eve sinned they died spiritually as well as physically. Sending them out of the garden, far from being an act of cruelty, was actually proof of God’s kindness and great love. Had Adam and Eve, after eating from the forbidden tree, then eaten from the Tree of Life, that other special tree, they would have been immortalized for all of eternity in their sinful condition. They never would have qualified for the heaven that God wanted them to enjoy because by eating also from the tree of life, they would have obtained eternal life.

Imagine living forever as sinners, with sickness and pain, with heartache and sadness, with having to live forever with all the consequences that a sinful nature can bring, with no possibility of redemption, and with absolutely no possibility of ever getting any of the heavenly gifts that God had planned for us. Thus God prevented Adam and Eve from having eternal sinfulness by giving them the gift of death. So Death is the ability to exit this life and arrive safely in the wondrous life to come. Though death appears to be man’s greatest enemy, it will in the end prove to be his greatest friend. Only through death can we go to God. Death is the means by which our bodies are put to rest while our souls are escorted through the gates of Heaven. Death itself brings us to the gate, but then it is opened by the one who says, “He who is Holy, who is true, who has the Key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens.”Revelation 3:7.

There is nothing more valuable than a person’s soul. To trade that away is the epitome of foolishness. If a person rejects Christ for the sake of anything in this life, he will lose his soul. The most learned of men, who dies a stranger to Christ Jesus, will perish equally with the most ignorant; and what good can commendations on earth do to the body in the grave, or the soul in hell? Pay attention to this question. Have you neglected your soul? Are you living your life for the glory of God? Friends, if we neglect this great question, we will not escape from eternal punishment. As Jesus said, “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Nothing-nothing this world has o offer is equal in value to the soul of man because it is eternal.

To gain the whole world is to receive all the world has to offer—money, fame, pleasure, power, prestige, etc. To lose one’s soul is to die without a right relationship with God and spend an eternity in the lake of fire. If a person rejects God and becomes the richest, most powerful person on earth, he has still made a poor decision. Sooner or later, earthly things will fade away. And that person will have lost the only part of himself that lasts forever. The day of reckoning is coming: “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Mathew 16:27).

Jesus first advent to this world as a savior is to reconcile us with God, free us from the fear of death and dying, and to give us the assurance of eternal life with him. How can we be reconciled with God? Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Man’s basic problem with God is sin which has made man the object of God’s wrath. God’s work of salvation solves the problem of God’s wrath for man. With the entrance of sin into the human race, God’s holy nature requires that He execute His wrath upon the sinner, while, at the same time, His attribute of love shows His desire to embrace sinners when they repent (cf. Luke 13:3, 5) with divine forgiveness. Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

The apostle Paul helped us understand how to be reconciled with God when he wrote the following: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10) When you are with Jesus, you do not need to be afraid of death or afraid of dying. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) If you have been reconciled with God, you are part of his family. You will be with Jesus forever. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Romans 6:5) When God is our reward, He adds everything we need to it. Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.”

Death is not the end of life. Your spiritual body is eternal, and heaven will be unbelievably wonderful. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:4) “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10) What happens when a person who dies in Christ? His soul goes to be with the Lord. The apostle Paul tells us at 2 Corinthians 5:8, “that when we are absent from our bodies we are present with the Lord”. C.S. Lewis once put it this way, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:18, this world…”what is seen-is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Don’t be afraid of death or dying — there will be no sorrow or tears in heaven. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 7:17) This is why Bible say “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

Lalachan Abraham



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