This was very hard for me to write. I want to start off by saying that by my even speaking about it I do so hoping you understand that I am just speaking of my limited understanding. I do so with a heart that is aware and sensitive to those who have very real hurt in their heart because of the loss of someone. Hopefully something I write will bring some understanding if not some healing. So here goes:
The word brings to mind inevitability, finality, the unknown. It is one area (of many I believe) where followers of Christ see things dimly. Jesus wept at Lazarus death. There is something real here. God feels our pain. So if God was brought to tears, what do we do?
For the Christian we are fortunately left with some answers.
This same Jesus who wept over Lazarus later conquered death and rose again. Jesus rose from the dead. We also will. Paul writes: But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 1 Corinthians 15:12-15.
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ,” writes Paul, “we are to be pitied more than all people” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
If we say we believe in Christ then we must trust him to walk along side us as we journey from this life to the next. He promises us that I am the resurrection and the life. He who comes to me will live, even though he dies.
To our earthly perspective we can not conceive what lies beyond. And that’s ok. We want to hang on here, to what we know. But there is so much more.
2 Corinthians 5:2-5
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly
dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For
while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish
to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that
what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned
us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit,
guaranteeing what is to come.
The mortal will be swallowed up by life – real life. The life that we were made for.
Let us look back to Lazarus. Jesus said “this sickness will not lead to death”. He called out to Lazarus and Lazarus heard his voice. He’s calling out to us as well, even in our greatest need – Trust me. Know that there was one before you who was victorious over death. Your best friend, lord and savior.