I once read a story about a new pastor who was asked to preach at a funeral. He had never done that before, so he was a little worried about what he should say, how he should say it, that sort of thing. He was really uncertain what to do, so he decided to turn to the Bible for guidance. More specifically, he thought it might be wise to see what Jesus said and did when He conducted a funeral. That seemed like a pretty good place to start. After all, Christians are supposed to be Christ-imitators, right? So this pastor started flipping through the Gospels to see what he could find.
Unfortunately, this plan didn’t work out so well. Oh, he found lots of instances where Jesus attended funerals, where the Lord of life came face to face with death. But whenever that happened, Jesus didn’t give a eulogy. He didn’t offer any pithy platitudes that belong in a Hallmark card. Instead, He stopped everything cold by unwinding death.
If you don’t believe me, you can check it out for yourself: He crashed the funeral for Jairus’s daughter. When He stumbled across the funeral for a widow’s son, He drove back the power of death with a touch. And let’s not forget the story of His friend Lazarus. In each instance, death couldn’t stand up to the presence of life.
Actually, Jesus lays it on the line when it came to Lazarus. When Lazarus’s sister confronts Him about His absence, He points her to Himself:
I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Jesus is the death of death, the enemy of our enemy. He unwinds the relentless march of death and He promises that He will one day do the same for us.
So what does this have to do with my lengthy tirade on neo pseudo gnosticism? It’s the final nail in the coffin when it comes to what hope we have as Christians. It’s not an ethereal, spiritual paradise. Instead, Jesus is the resurrection. He is our life. He came to redeem not just our souls, but our bodies as well. And not just that, but all of sin-stained creation.
Next week, we’ll be leaving the gloomy haunts of death behind to talk about other matters related to this watered-down heresy.So what happens when life comes face-to-face with death? Click To Tweet