This past week, I have been thinking about death. Three unrelated deaths occurred in different spheres of my life. None of them were people I was very close with, one I hadn’t even met, but they still have had an impact on my perspective.
As we enter Holy Week in the Christian church, we approach the death of our Savior. It’s a week that begins and ends with celebrations, but in between there are moments of great sorrow.
We can look at our lives in a similar way. Our birth and time on earth is a celebration, and our heavenly homecoming is something to rejoice. But the hardships and challenges of this life and the grief that comes with death are difficult to swallow.
- I wonder if the person suffered or was scared before he/she died.
- I cannot imagine the weight of receiving that news as a loved one, and then having to share it with relatives and friends.
- Errands left unfinished, plans never carried out, big (and small) reminders each day of that person missing from your every day existence.
- Funerals are celebrations of life, but they are also reminders that a new normal must be found and memories are all you have going forward.
As I continued to process, the lyrics of a song came to my mind. And they connect with what we are remembering in this Holy Week.
“Death is all around us, we are not afraid.
Written is the story, empty is the grave” – Kip Fox
It’s hard to not be afraid of death. It’s finite, terrible, unexpected and causes great harm to the loved ones of the one who dies. Imagine the family and friends of Jesus, as they watched him suffer and die on the cross. It must have been brutal.
But we know how that event turns out. It’s a sad story with a happy ending. Jesus claims victory over sin, death and the devil and rises from the dead! Our sin dies with him on the cross, but we are raised to new eternal life with him forever!
While there is much rejoicing in that, it’s still difficult for our earthly minds to comprehend. Our loved one is gone, no longer by our side.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, his friends missed him too. Although he was no longer physically present, he sent His Spirit to help them. In the same way, Jesus is with us and reminds us that those who believe are living eternally with Him! In the midst of grief, He remains by our side, guiding us, providing people to support us and loving us with a great love, which we cannot comprehend.
As we approach the remembrance of what Christ has done for us. I pray for His peace in your life. These words tell us all we need to know to live our life with Jesus.
“Written is the story, empty is the grace”