That was the question posed by the preacher during the funeral service for a dear friend Pilot and I attended Saturday. A friend only twenty-one months older than me. A friend who left behind a husband, three children and their spouses, fifteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, a sister, brother, and countless friends and relatives to grieve. Linda will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
One of the first things the minister said was, “It is not unchristian to grieve.” He then directed us not to focus on what we feel – our great loss – but on what we know – God is real, and the Word of God is also real.
In answering his question, why death? the preacher said death is not normal. It isn’t God’s intended plan. Death entered our world at the same time sin did in the Garden of Eden.
None of this surprised God. Of course it didn’t. God already knew before he said, “Let there be…” as he spoke the universe into existence, Jesus would come to this fallen, broken, death-filled earth, die on the cross of Calvary, rise from the grave, and ascend to his throne in heaven. The perfect sacrifice. The perfect Savior. The perfect Victor.
Because of Christ’s victory over death, we too have victory over death when we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Preaching from 1 Corinthians 15, the minister said there is absolutely no contest. Jesus is the Victor. Jesus conquered death. Death was swallowed up. Our separation from loved ones who die is not permanent. The penalty of sin has been removed. The moment we open our eyes in God’s presence, no sin will ever come between us again.
He closed by reminding us to be steadfast to make Christ known.
Whether we have experienced the loss of a loved one or not, it is good to remember death does not have the final word. Jesus does. If we belong to him, we are welcomed with open arms into the glorious richness of heaven, where there is no more sorrow. No more sadness. No more tears. Amen?
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When this happens, then at last this Scripture will come true—“Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin—the sting that causes death—will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge. How we thank God for all of this! It is he who makes us victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So, my dear brothers, since future victory is sure, be strong and steady, always abounding in the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever wasted as it would be if there were no resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:54-58 (TLB)
I wish you well.
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