Anchor Point 3: My Death Is Not Final
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? — 1 Corinthians 14:55
Don’t cry? Don’t cry? What kind of request is that?.. It’s a request only God can make. ~ Max Lucado
Welcome back to another week of the Six Hours One Friday Online Bible Study with our friend and leader, Pastor Max Lucado! We’re so glad you’re still with us! This week we’re studying Jesus’ encounter with a funeral procession, when He raised from the dead the widow’s son in the village of Nain.
: fear of death
It’s as inevitable as taxes. Death is coming for us all. For some, it is practically a non-issue, not even thought about. For some it’s a full-blown phobia.
Yet, Jesus had the chutzpah to say the most shocking and ludicrous thing: Don’t cry. Death is not final.
If you have ever been rocked by the death of a loved one, you know how incendiary that statement is. When a loved one dies and you’re left reeling at that reality — that finality —heartbroken and assaulted by the rank cruelty of death, calling family and friends to let them know, having to leave the hospital without them, going home to face such shockingly odd tasks the next day — tasks such as going through insurance paperwork, returning the coroner’s call and signing legal documents, picking out a plot and a casket or an urn, and receiving kind visitors with armfuls of food and flowers they set down to wrap their arms full of you. It’s strange and emotional and surreal and overwhelming. Then when you hear the door open, for a second you forget. But, the one you love doesn’t walk in having just gotten back from the gym with wet hair and a smile. You pick up the phone before you realize you can’t call them. Because they’re gone. Forever. They’ll never laugh at a silly birthday card again or tear up over the birth of a new family member. They won’t be there for the weddings and the reunions. They’re not here anymore.
Jesus looked into the eyes of the widow and said “Don’t cry…”
I’m sure she already cried five thousand tears that day, but His remark to her wasn’t a chastisement or a glib “you’ll be fine soon” condolence. He was making a prelude to a proclamation. Death… you’re done here!
Done for that young man and done for us! Jesus says our reality is LIFE. Yes, we will all lay down our bodies someday. Whether we are ready or not. Death seems to win for a season here on earth, but not ultimately! Jesus came to bring us life so that when our human, imperfect, physical bodies no longer serve our needs, when we’re done with our jobs here on earth, we get to step into Heaven with glorious, new bodies that shine like the sun. (Philippians 3:20-21, Matthew 13:43, Daniel 12:3)
And, because of the hope of Heaven, the glory to come, the joy of eternity in a place filled with His love, more perfect than Eden, with all the believers who have gone there before us (Hebrews 12:1), face-to-Face with our King Jesus (Revelation 22:4), we can receive His stunning, compassionate “Don’t cry” and sing…
It is well with my soul.
Scriptures This Week
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, Thank You for the promise of Heaven. Thank You that You came to wipe away every tear, to eradicate grief and hopelessness, to conquer death and take away its sting. We can’t wait to see you face-to-Face! Amen and amen!