Funerals

The death of a loved one or a close friend is at best very sad and at worst extremely traumatic. We read in Genesis 37:34 how Jacob mourned the loss of his son Joseph. The Bible contains many other examples of people grieving over loved ones. However, the true Christian believer has the assurance of God's help to cope with the pain. Hard as it may be to face the reality of the situation, it must be accepted as being the Will of God; for the lesson to Adam sadly applies to us all in due course:

"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:19)

The good news for those who trust in Jesus is that there is hope of life beyond the grave, for just as Jesus died and was raised by God to eternal life, that hope is offered to his followers:

"But now is Christ risen from the dead... For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1Corinthians15:20-22)

We die because (like Adam) we sin, but through the sacrifice of Jesus our sins can be forgiven and the finality of death overcome:

"...Christ died for our sins... he was buried... and he rose again the third day..." (1Corinthians15:3,4)
"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:22,23)

Meanwhile, the deceased is at peace and spared further suffering ["there the weary be at rest"(Job3:17)] and the righteous dead are forever in the love of Almighty God:

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.?"(Romans 8:38,39)

Undoubtedly we will have fond memories and recollections of the deceased but we must remember that God is our ultimate judge:

"we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ...every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:9-12)

We are, however, assured that the "The Lord... is not willing that any should perish..." (1Peter 3:9) and that "...it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

The 23rd Psalm, whether read or sung, perfectly encapsulates the comfort and hope which God offers to those who turn to him

"Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning."(Psalm30:5)

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