Have you ever noticed that Jesus spoiled every funeral He attended? Whenever Jesus was at a funeral, the person they were mourning came back from the dead.
Luke tells of a woman who was about to bury her only son when Jesus felt compassion for her and brought the man back from death (Luke 7:11-17). In Matthew 9:18 Jesus comforts the man who has lost his daughter by returning her to life and the arms of her father. And in John, we see Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the grave even after he had been in the tomb for four days! (John 11:38-40)
As a matter of fact, Jesus spoiled His own funeral by resurrecting three days after He was pronounced dead and carefully buried.
It seems that Jesus simply doesn't do funerals and His reaction to them teaches us some important facts when it comes to death.
1. Jesus can overcome death, His and yours.
The repeated examples of Jesus' defeat of death is God's way of reassuring us that Jesus does have this power, has used this power and will use this power on our behalf.
2. Only dead people live in tombs.
You don't have to live in your tomb because with Jesus you have life. We should, therefore, live like people who are going to live forever, not like people whose final stop is the grave.
3. God wants to resurrect you.
The entire plan of God throughout history has been that ultimately He will resurrect you through Christ. Have a little faith -- stop worrying about what could go wrong. God won't forget or make a mistake. He will accomplish what He has set out to do since time began.
Just remember when you make your final arrangements, invite Jesus to your funeral.
- What passage of Scripture do you want read at your funeral? Why?
- Formulate a prayer that you would make if asked to pray at a Christian friend's funeral.
- What words of comfort would you say to the relatives of someone who died but was not a believer?