A friend died last week. He was a young, active 60. He had worked all day, had dinner with friends, sat down in his chair – and died. SURPRISE!! His wife did everything that anyone could do to sustain life until rescue people arrived, but he was unresponsive. He just died. Without warning. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes there is a long illness and death is expected. But, you know, death is still a surprise. Somehow, we always expect another breath.
So I have been thinking about what a difference a moment makes. I have been meditating on some Scriptures. Here are some passages that tell the story of redemption, death and hope.
Jesus said to her, “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. John 11:25-26
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned… John 3:16-18
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.2 Corinthians 9:6-9(KJV)
…now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:20-21
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”I Corinthians 15: 26, 54
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…“ Revelation 21:3b-4a
We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. I Thessalonians 4:13-14
So then, death comes to each and every one of us. But God took some action to provide a way out, because of His great love for us. By trusting this plan that Jesus carried out, death does not have the last word and those who believe will live beyond the grave. Death is dead and new life is great! My friend is living that new life now. There is comfort in this news.