Death and Hope

On Saturday I went for a short walk and ended up walking through Ash Cemetery which is just down the road from our house.  I am not a morbid sort of character but was deeply moved by some of the inscriptions that I saw.

  • A pair of plaques with the same date marking the grave of twins who had died, aged two.
  • Grandparents who would be remembered by their grandchildren.
  • Sad messages which also spoke of love and hope.

Why do we have to die?

For a moment I forgot all about my own beliefs and empathised with the individuals who had written these words and in anguish I cried out, almost aloud, “Why do we have to die?”. Sometimes it is good to put to one side our own beliefs and share the feelings of those who do not share the hope that we have. For a moment I felt the anguish of humans through the ages who have been forced to confront the oldest enemy we have – death.

Even so in Christ shall all be made alive?

As the tears rolled down my face, I suddenly heard words in my mind from Handel’s Messiah which I remember singing nearly sixty years ago.

“Even so in Christ shall all be made alive?”

These words are from 1 Corinthians where Paul expounds all about Jesus’ resurrection and how this means resurrection of us too.

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NIV)

There has to be more to it than this!

The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives substance to the hope we find deep down  in the being of every person who has ever lived from the Stone Age to modern man. “There has to be more to it than this” is the cry of billions.  But we have hope based on the defeat of death by Jesus and his promise to us of a full and abundant life, before and after the death of our bodies. Because He lives, I will live forever!

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