The Language of Death

But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don’t grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort one another with these words. -1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (WEB)

“We lost Dad today.” “Grandma passed away.” “I’m sorry, but she’s gone.” “He’s gone to his eternal rest.”

Death. Why is it so hard to say the word? Why is it so hard to say a loved one has died? Is it because the word sounds so final and we can’t bear the thought of never seeing the person again? Or, is it because, although it sounds so final, it’s really not, and we don’t want to imply that it is?

Death is not our final act. For the Christian, it is the gateway to a new and better life. God the Father, Daniel, Job, Paul, and Jesus all referred to death as “sleep.” We “go to sleep” here and wake up in heaven with Jesus. What a glorious thought!

We can say with the Apostle Paul, “Death is swallowed up in victory” and “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Death is not a bad thing. We may not like the timing, but it is our ticket to the greatest homecoming we’ll ever have!

Thank you, O God, for Christ’s victory over death. Help us to encourage those around us who grieve the death of a loved one. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thought for the Day
Who can I comfort today with Paul’s words?

Prayer Focus
Those in their final days of life on earth

Copyright © 2006, Star M. Ferdinand. All Rights Reserved.

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