Photo by Irina Iriser
I have temporarily departed from my usual format of exploring the Leap of Faith to process the grief of the death of a family member who committed suicide. If you or someone you know is suicidal PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
Beyond the pain of loss, beyond the tumult of grief, there is death. When it comes, it is important to know that there IS HOPE, even in death.
Yes, death is a school yard bully threatening everyone and everything. It’s the great equalizer, the ONE thing that every living thing on Earth has in common. At some point, we will all die. It’s not a matter of if, only when. It’s part of what makes death seem so hopeless. The end of everything is death. But, is death the end? Standing grave side, watching the casket being lowered into the ground, death can truly feel like the end. There is nothing that looks more like the end than watching the ashes of your loved one scatter on the wind.
It was disobedience that brought death into the world.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” (Gen. 1:1). He called light into being and divided the waters above and below. He set the boundaries of the ocean and let dry land appear. He caused plants to grow and filled the expanse of heaven with the sun, moon and stars. He filled the air and the seas with life. He called the Earth to bring forth living creatures. Then, with His own hands He fashioned humanity from the dirt. God breathed His own breath into their lungs and gave them life.
When He was done, He placed humanity in a garden paradise. God gave the fruit of every tree in the garden to them, with one exception. God told them never to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He told the man that if they ate from that tree they would die. They disobeyed. Through their sin, death entered creation and was given authority over the earth and everything in it.
So, does death have the final word?
Thankfully NO. Jesus has defeated death!
Sin and death were brought into the world through the disobedience of one man. So, one man, Jesus, came to Earth to conquer sin and death for all time. He willingly gave up His life on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and end the reign of death. His sacrifice brought freedom from sin and death to all who acknowledge Him as Lord and place their faith and trust in Him. Because of this there is hope even in death!
Death is not the end. When this physical life ends, our souls continue. As a Christian, I have the assurance that death is only a passage into life eternal with God. If those I love acknowledge Christ as Lord and place their faith and trust in Him, death cannot rob me of them. They are safely in God’s loving embrace. I have the promise that I will be reunited with them someday! I will see them again!
This HOPE is available to every person ever born. HOPE begins with acknowledging that we are sinners. We have all sinned. We all do things that are wrong, things we are ashamed of, things we regret. In moments of anger or temptation we do things we know we should not do. We lie to avoid responsibility. We lust after things that won’t bring satisfaction or covet that which belongs to others.
This sin separates us from the HOPE Christ Jesus died to give us. If we acknowledge our sin and ask Jesus to come into our hearts and be Lord of our lives, our sin is wiped away. Our slate is cleaned by the blood of Christ. We are given both life abundant and life eternal. We come to know the one who provides HOPE EVEN IN DEATH!
If this is a hope you would like to have, it is available to all for the asking. Simply pray:
Lord God, I am a sinner. Please forgive me of my sin. Help me turn away from sin and follow you. I surrender my heart to you. I believe you are Lord of all creation. I believe you died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin and you rose from the dead to conquer death. Come into my heart and be Lord of my life. Amen (Romans 10:9-10)
If you prayed this prayer, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to guide you in learning more about the one who loves you enough to die for your sins and mine. God bless!