Core Christian value
We properly mourn over the death of a loved one but then we are encouraged, knowing that death is physical and not spiritual. Our spirits live on and a reunion of God’s children awaits.
The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept”, John 11:35. Yet that short verse reveals so much that we need to understand. The Apostle John saw Jesus weep when Mary and Martha, the sisters that Jesus knew well, told Him that Lazarus, their brother, had died.
First, we can see that Jesus had compassion upon those who loved Lazarus. That means that His heart ached when theirs did. He felt their loss, their pain, just as He feels our losses and pains. That is how much Jesus loves His children, His friends. When our hearts ache in circumstances of personal loss, such as the death or serious illness, of a loved one, Jesus feels our loss. We never have to go through such sadness alone.
Second, Jesus knew that He would call Lazarus forth from the grave in which he had laid dead for four days. He certainly did not weep because of the death of Lazarus. He wept because the friends and family of Lazarus were grieving. But Jesus did not continue to grieve. He took action.
Listen: “But didn’t I tell you that you will see a wonderful miracle from God if you believe?” Jesus asked her. So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing Me. (You always hear Me, of course, but I said it because of all these people standing here, so that they will believe You sent Me.)” Then He shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus came-bound up in the gravecloth, his face muffled in a head swath. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” JOHN 11:40-44 TLB
It is proper to be sad when we lose a loved one. Jesus was sad but He knew something we should all understand. Not only would he give Lazarus physical life, again, but Jesus knew that Lazarus, because of his faith, would be given eternal life in a perfect place where there are no tears and no suffering.
Listen to a key teaching about death: “The good men perish; the godly die before their time, and no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to realize that God is taking them away from evil days ahead. For the godly who die shall rest in peace.” ISAIAH 57:1-2 TLB
When we die, we are taken away from evil and delivered to perfection and when those we love die, that is true of them, if they love the Lord. We are simultaneously sad and hopeful. I would have said joyful but that is a word that will fit well when you are reunited with those you love. That is why we tell our family and friends about the love Jesus has for them. We want to be together, in eternity, forever.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring the happy news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns. The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for right before their eyes they see the Lord God bring His people home again.” ISAIAH 52:7-8 TLB
Discuss ISAIAH 57:1-2. Is it still okay to grieve when someone we love has been taken away from the evil days ahead? For a Christian, is death the end or the beginning? What is transitional and what is permanent? Discuss the meaning of this quotation: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 CORINTHIANS 2:9 NKJV