“Death aims with fouler spite at fairer marks.” –Francis Quarles
In over 10 years of ministry, I’ve found that one of the toughest parts of my job is dealing with death. Whether it’s a funeral where everyone is unsure of where the person is spending eternity or the grieving of a family that knows that they will one day see them in heaven but won’t get a chance on this side of life. Death hurts and it doesn’t just hurt those who know the deceased. It hurts the friends and family who love those who are mourning. It’s why a community is rocked when a teenager commits suicide and it’s why Jesus cried seeing his good friends, Mary & Martha mourning over the death of their brother, Lazarus (v. 35).
There is nothing beautiful about death. We were not created with it in mind. We were created with eternity in mind and we only experience death on this earth as a consequence of sin entering the world (Romans 6:23). This truth is also what makes Jesus so glorious and beautiful. As Jesus mentions in today’s Scripture “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (v. 25-26)
Jesus takes us back to the life we were supposed to live before sin, Satan and death. He tells Mary and Martha that He is the resurrection and life. You may die but you will live in the next life. He brings that resurrection and life about through faith in Him. It’s truthfully the one and only thing that gives me hope when encountering death so often in ministry. Personally knowing the One who has defeated death and having the opportunity to preach that God to each and every person that I can. So what can we learn from this wonderful reminder.
1. We should have COMPASSION for anyone who’s mourning from death.
We’re to be like Jesus in His example toward Mary and Martha, especially knowing that we weren’t created for it in the first place.
2. We should present the only HOPE one can have when talking about death.
Of course, this is through Jesus and the Gospel message. He gave Mary and Martha hope as He reminded them that He is the resurrection and life. They believed that and said they knew they’d see their brother in the end. Little did they know that Jesus was talking about that day as He did one of His greatest miracles by bringing a 4 day old dead body back to life.
Do you grieve when others are grieving from death? Do you offer hope for others in the midst of death?
By: Erik Koliser