People post obituary notices on billboards and concrete block walls in Ghana regularly. Headlines such as Gone Too Soon, Celebration of Life, and What a Shock! announce the passing away of loved ones and the approaching funerals. One I read—In Transition—points to life beyond the grave.
When a close relative or friend dies, we sorrow as Mary and Martha did for their brother Lazarus (John 11:17-27). We miss the departed so much that our hearts break and we weep, as Jesus wept at the passing of His friend (v. 35).
Yet, it was at this sorrowful moment Jesus made a delightful statement on life after death: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (v. 25).
On the basis of this we give departed believers only a temporary farewell. For they “will be with the Lord forever,” Paul emphasizes (1 Thess. 4:17). Of course, farewells are painful, but we can rest assured that they are in the Lord’s safe hands.
In Transition suggests that we are only changing from one situation to another. Though life on earth ends for us, we will continue to live forever and better in the next life where Jesus is. “Therefore encourage one another with these words” (v. 18).
It is because of You, Jesus, that we have hope and are sure of a forever life. We’re grateful.
For help in dealing with loss, read Life After Loss at discoveryseries.org/cb131
Because of Jesus, we can live forever.
Martha, Lazarus’s sister, is one of the most misunderstood characters in the New Testament. We usually think of her in the context of Luke 10:38–42, where Jesus challenges her misdirected priorities. This often leads to the conclusion that she was somehow spiritually inferior to her sister, Mary. However, Martha is the one who expresses her confidence in Christ to do something about the death of her brother (John 11:21–22). And she makes a wonderful statement on the deity of Christ, showing that she, in fact, had great depth of spiritual understanding (v. 27). Bill Crowder