And I thought my sermons were boring! The Apostle Paul preaches a sermon that goes so long and so late that a young man sitting in a third floor window falls asleep and falls to his death. But Paul won’t allow that, so he goes down and holds the young man in his arms as the young man rises from the dead. Paul then goes back up, grabs a bite to eat, and resumes preaching until morning.
Death is nothing to God. It was not a part of His original creation and has no part in His plan. God’s plan is about life, not death. And so when death comes along, God reminds us that His son Jesus defeated death, made it inconsequential, and even gave us power over it. Today, when we face death, we face it with the hope of Jesus and His resurrection, a resurrection that is not just His but ours as well.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me, even if they die yet they will live. And anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” This is perhaps the boldest claim in all of scripture, and is the foundation for our faith. Jesus states this truth and then asks Martha if she believes it. And in John’s style of writing, the question is ours as well. Do you believe this? When you hear of a death, do you grieve for the person or those the person leaves behind? And as you face your own death, do you fear or try to stop it, or do you welcome it as the doorway to an eternal life with Christ?
It is hard to live counter to our culture, but here in our view of death we must if we are to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.