Hope beyond the grave
by Chris Forder
This week we mourn the death of Warrick Mattinson, as well as celebrate his life. This reminds us that death is tragic; tragic no matter the age or circumstance.
And the reason we feel it so hard is because it was never meant to be a part of God’s perfect world. We were created to live without death in the Garden with our God. But the sad and painful reality is that due to sin, death is now a part of our world and our lives.
Whether you knew Warrick or not, you will have to face the death of others in your life and one day you will have to face your own death. But the God who created a world without death has also created a way to live even though we die. John 11:25-26 —
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
God set in motion a rescue plan to save us from our sin, to save us from eternal death. God has sent Jesus to die for us and to rise again, so that now through faith in him we will rise to new life too. Friends, I know this isn’t new to you, you know this truth. But it is so important to hold on to it and be reminded of it. And because of our great certainty in Jesus we can proclaim as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friends, death is not the end, it is the beginning of paradise with God’s glory fully upon us. We have no need to fear death, for ourselves or others who trust in Jesus. You might fear how you will die, but you don’t need to fear death itself because Jesus promises those who trust in him will live. What a God we have! Thank you God for your loving kindness. Please comfort the Mattinson family during this time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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