I attended a funeral yesterday and it was probably the most hysterical funeral I’ve ever been to.
It was a time of sharing stories about the deceased and laughing at his personality. He was a serious guy who showed his true nature in the most hilarious ways.
All in all, I really enjoyed the funeral.
And that is a weird thing to say.
But as I looked at his family, smiling through their tears, barely holding it together because of their overwhelming loss, my heart was sad.
And since it was the day before Easter, I could only think about The Death. The Death of all deaths.
The Death of a carpenter on a cross—the death that took on my sin and released me from the consequences that should be mine.
A casket sat at the front of the church where the funeral was held. The casket held a 56 year-old man who had lost a long battle with cancer. During his life, though, both my husband and I had had the pleasure of working with him in our careers in education.
I know his family is mourning. They feel sorrow and anguish. They are full of grief and an overwhelming sense of loss. They are physically spent from feeling the weight of his death.
And I imagine that the disciples, along with the friends and family of Jesus, felt the same way when He died.
They were heavy. They were weary. They were physically spent from their sorrow. They wanted him back. They grieved. They cried. And they felt his loss in a powerful, unexplainable way.
And they had no idea what was coming.
If you’ve lost someone you love, you know the feelings I am describing. That loss renders you non-functional. It’s only by the grace of God that you can pick yourself up and attempt to participate in life.
And they felt this over the loss of Jesus.
Now, for those of you who have lost a loved one, imagine if that person who has passed away suddenly reappeared. “Hi! Guess what? I’m not dead anymore! I have risen like I told you I would and I’m alive!”
What would your reaction be? To scream in disbelief? To pass out? To lose control of yourself? Doubt and demand proof? Or to throw your arms around that loved one and dance for joy?
Jesus reappeared. He overcame death. He came back. He conquered the grave so that we might live eternally with him.
The older I get, the more funerals I have to attend. Luckily for me, the vast majority of the people who have passed away recently have been followers of Jesus Christ. These people made a commitment to follow the One who overcame the grave.
Although some of my friends and family members are gone, there WILL be a day when I can throw my arms around them and dance for joy. Because of Christ’s great miracle, because He is alive, I might be parted from my loved ones for a short time, but I am promised a day of reunion. I am promised to get to do what the disciples and friends of Jesus got to do—see Him in the flesh after his death.
So while I sat at a funeral the day before Easter, I rejoiced. I was filled with hope. I was overcome with joy and gratitude.
The resurrected Christ made it possible for us to spend eternity with the people we love.
Someone once said to me, “You haven’t lost them if you know where they are.”
I know where my Savior is. And can you believe that I am jealous of my friends and family who have seen Him already?
Sometimes funerals are a wonderful reminder of what we have to look forward to—and it will be so much better than anything we can experience or imagine here.