Death in the rear view: the glorious promise of the Resurrection.

November 1, 2021 | Written by Titus Jr Laxa

Jesus said to her, “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. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

Today, November 1, 2021, many are reflecting on the notion of death and the death of loved ones. During this time of the year, many find comfort by visiting the graves of loved ones. Serving as a family reunion, such visits bring comfort and joy in the midst of the struggles and concerns in this life, as families get to talk about memories of loved ones who have left, and also get to talk about life as they know it. Yet due to the pandemic, many are not able to visit the graves, and so are unable to experience the comfort and joy the family reunions bring at the graves of their loved ones.

For some, due to the pandemic, we have loved ones who passed away recently, loved ones who we felt that will be with us for a long long time. Suddenly, they are no longer there, and we are left here, with the pain of suddenly losing them. The thought of their prolonged absence, seemingly never to return and be seen has brought fear and despair in the hearts of those left behind. Such thoughts are more prevalent during this season, where the gravestone is yet a grim reminder of such a reality. Yet, in the midst of all these, Jesus' words to Martha, in light of Lazarus' passing away, gives undeniable comfort and assurance to us, especially for our loved ones who had believed in Christ, the Resurrection and the life.

I am the Resurrection and the Life

Jesus says, I am the Resurrection and the Life. When Christ says He is the resurrection, He was not merely making empty statements. The assurance He gives to Martha, however, many see as speaking of His coming death, burial, and the resurrection. Yet He says, I am the resurrection and the life, not I will be, for He is the resurrection even before the event takes place. Yet, why is He the resurrection and the life even if the resurrection at that point in time had yet to take place? Christ is the resurrection and the life because of who He is, the Son of God, by whom all things are created. He is the source of our life, and so, those who have died, He has the capacity to raise once again from the dead. Oh, what an amazing Christ we have, for if He is not able to raise those who died, we who believe in Him are the most pitiful of all. Yet, will He raise all who have died?

Though he die, yet shall he live.

Not so, for next He says, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. Here is the one and only condition for one who dies to be made life again, believe in Him while we are alive. Isn't that a wonderful comfort for us whose loved one who has believed the Lord Jesus but has passed away. Some may say, oh, you don't know my father or mother, he or she is a weak Christian. Yes they believe, but all their lives they struggled in their faithful walk with the Lord. Yes, that may be true, but the Lord who promises to bring life to those who died only brings believing as a condition. Have they truly believed? If yes, take comfort saint, for God is faithful unto His promise, that those who believe He will make alive.

Everyone who lives and believes in me

Yet, some will ask, well you don't know my parent, he or she has not done much for the kingdom of God. They had merely attended services, given some to the poor, but they are not famous for the sake of Christ name. Oh, what sad news that is, that the One Christ saves will hesitate to give their all for His name. Yet, Christ says, everyone who lives and believes in Him shall never die. Everyone - great or small, strong or weak, famous or unsung - everyone who lives and believes in Him, Christ, our great Savior has declared, that he shall never remain dead.

Yes, at times it seems unbelievable that we will see our loved ones again, particularly those who passed away while being in the Lord. It is easier it seems to think of them as no more, to move on, to find a way to cope with the loss. Yes we need coping, yes at present they are not here with us. However, one thing is for sure, the Christ who promised that they shall live again is faithful to His Word. He has proven His faithfulness by Himself dying and being raised from the dead. If He is raised from the dead, shall not he be able to do as well to those who are united in Him by faith? Oh Lord Jesus, comfort us with Thy Word and Work, for the loss of our loved ones truly grieve us. Yet, thank you Lord, for you are the able to make them alive once again for eternity, and as we are in Christ and remain in Him, we will see each other once again. Oh what blessed day!


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