“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (Jesus – John 11:25)
It is one of the things that most people do not care to talk about. We don’t even like saying the word. We say things like, “they passed.” Or “kicked the bucket” or “gave up the ghost.”
But any way you say it… it is death.
Maybe we don’t like talking about it because there is such a seeming finality to it. One moment a person is full of the breath of life – and the next they are not.
For anyone who has lost a loved one, there is hardly anything that is more difficult for us to even think about. When all we have is memories, those memories become precious possessions – though those memories can still cause us pause… or pain.
But has been said, “Death is a part of life.” It is something we will all face, without exception – without any regard for status, or importance, or financial means. Death awaits us all. We cannot escape its steely grasp.
But this is exactly why a relationship with Jesus is so important. Jesus said it Himself… He IS resurrection. He IS the life. And to prove His point… He did both.
But the best part of relationship with Jesus is the fact that He shares everything He is (and has) with those who place their complete trust in Him.
Because He IS the resurrection and the life – He has promised that even those who die will yet live. For “whoever believes in (Jesus),” death is not the final destination of our journey… it is only a doorway into a life that can never end. What Jesus gives, lasts forever… and that includes the kind of life He offers to every single person who turns to Him in unreserved faith.
This brings a tremendous hope to each of us – even to us who have had to endure the pain of loss because of death.
As the apostle taught us: “we do not …grieve like the rest, who are without hope… For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died… Encourage one another with these words.” (from 1Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Jesus. Resurrection. Life. All part of the total package that God freely offers to whoever believes in Jesus.
I have been to many funerals (maybe you have, as well). There is a definite difference between when the person who died is known to trust and love Jesus… and when nobody is sure. With the latter, you can feel the weight of despair. There is a wishful hope that their loved one will spend eternity with God, but the uncertainty is like a foreboding cloud hanging over every soul.
And then there is the death of one who loves Jesus. There is sadness, yes… but that sadness is for ourselves, and for our loss. When our thoughts turn to the one who has gone to be with the Lord, they are filled with joy and celebration – as we realize that they have left the pain and sorrows of this life to be with their Lord forever.
In the end, that is the finish line we all hope to cross. There is nothing more despondent than the soul who has gained “the whole world, only to lose their soul.”
Jesus came that the finality of death would be dealt a death blow – and that the mortal sting of death would be swallowed up by His eternal life!