In 2008, my father passed away. I believe if he had passed away from old age or the chronic lung disorder he was diagnosed with a few years earlier; it would not have been such a shock. Although those two things probably played a role, they were not the reason he died.
It was Christmas night, and we had the whole family over for our annual Christmas meal. After the festivities at my house, my parents went to my brother’s house for a few minutes. And then as they left, they were involved in a car accident.
Although my dad appeared to be recovering from the accident over the next two days, everything changed 48 hours later. And then he was gone. Our family stood in utter shock. I can’t even put into words how big the whole in my heart was.
I am not sure what grips us more –an untimely death or a tragic death. In my family’s case, it was both. In our humanity, we understand there will come a day when loved ones as well as ourselves will pass on. But nothing is so gripping as when we hear of a young child’s death or when someone’s life so full of promise ends in a tragedy, like in a freak accident.
Just yesterday, I received word that someone who had been married for years lost her husband. In fact, the death was very sudden following an acute illness. This man, so full of life just weeks earlier, was a pastor whose church family truly adored him and a model father figure to his family. In a moment, he left this life and entered into eternal rest with God.
I think Christians everywhere would agree, knowing the promises Jesus gave us surrounding death is how we survive the aftermath. It doesn’t hurt any less, but we come to a place of peace as time passes.
As a Christ follower, we are promised that death is not the end, but the beginning of an eternal walk with Jesus. Many scriptures in the Bible relay simple truths about death that Christians can take to heart. Let’s review six key scriptures related to death.
- Jesus reminds us that He has already blazed a trail from death to eternal life.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Matt. 16:21 NIV
- Jesus has announced His victory over death.
“For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Cor. 15:52-55 NIV
- Jesus gives us a promise that belief in His instructions will not led to eternal separation from God, but just the opposite.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!” John 8:51 NLT
- Jesus comforts us that once we cross from physical death to eternal life, he has already provided a place for us to dwell with Him.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4 NLT
- Jesus encourages us that we will find true rest in eternity.
Then I heard [the distinct words of] a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes, [blessed indeed],” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest and have relief from their labors, for their deeds do follow them.” Rev. 14:13 AMP
- Jesus will give us peace everlasting.
“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:4 AMP
What a loving God we have. He knows our struggles in life. In the numbness and emotional turmoil we experience after losing a loved one, we can rest assured that Jesus understands our pain. We have only to read His word to remember He came to die for us and He Himself faced death. After the physical pain He endured, He experienced the spiritual turmoil of being separated from the Father. For all of us, He wrestled with death. And looking it straight in the eye, He conquered it for our sakes.
Whether you have experienced the loss of a loved one or are facing death yourself, let your mind focus on what Jesus had to say about death and eternal life. Remember, in order to receive these promises, you must be in a relationship with Jesus. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, would you consider doing that today?
Just simply pray: Jesus I ask You to forgive my sins and cleanse me forever. I accept You as Lord and Savior of my life. I ask You to come into my heart and have control. I believe You lived and died for me and on the third day You rose again. I thank You for loving me that much. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, welcome to the family!
Lord, I pray for all those that have faced the death of a love or are facing death themselves that You would come into their hearts and deliver on Your promises as only You can do. I pray that in this time they will be drawn closer to You. Death has no power over the Christ follower. May we stand on the promises in Your word today and forever. In Christ’s name I pray.
Blessings to you and yours,