If we are honest with ourselves, we will all confess that death, with its mysterious unknown, causes us some apprehension—even those of us who know where we are going when we die. Jesus had no fear of death. He had power over the final enemy. When He attended funerals they usually turned into a celebration because He could tell death when to go and when to come. While on earth, He raised many from the dead and willingly invited His own death so you and I could be redeemed and made righteous before His heavenly Father. “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” John 10:17-18 Because He lives, we can live forever with Him.
Most of us have experienced the grief of losing someone we loved very much. Even if we know they are with Jesus, we miss them and long to see them again. I like to think of the passing of a dear one as described in the following anonymous story.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and, as I stand and watch her, she gets smaller and harder to see until she disappears where sea and sky come together. Then someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone.”
Gone where? Gone from my sight—that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her; and just at the moment when someone says, “There! She’s gone,” there are other eyes watching her coming over the horizon. She grows larger as she approaches. She is welcomed by those waiting on the shore with a glad shout, “Look! Here she comes!”
What a comfort to know that as our loved ones pass from our sight, they are welcomed into the arms of Jesus who waits on the other shore.