Death is never expected. Sure, you can expect a person to die one day, maybe if they are ill or close to dying, but that actual moment of death can never be predicted. Death is tough. Death is certain. I remember when we buried my grandfather, a man of 84 years who died suddenly. He was picking vines off a tree in back of his townhouse when he slipped and hit his head against his truck. He was unconscious within hours and died soon after from internal bleeding. We knew he was frail already and he had suffered from the early stages of Alzheimer’s. But that phone call announcing his death was startling nonetheless.
Death is tough. Death is certain.
This week’s Advent theme is hope and one hope we have through Jesus’ first coming is the hope of the resurrection. Because Christ was raised from the dead, those who have believed in Him will be raised from the dead. Standing in the cemetery, it was hard to focus on this future resurrection but it was absolutely necessary. Christ has come and given us the hope of our resurrection from the dead. And this is not a fool’s hope or a maybe. It is an absolute. God promised and He doesn’t break promises. Death is tough. Death is certain. But so is the resurrection.
The grave is not the end of life nor is it the last time we will see our loved ones. Because God in Christ took on flesh and blood, died on the cross, and rose again we will have life eternal and our bodies will be glorified. No more cancer, no more Alzheimer’s, no more heart disease, no more pain — only glory. So let us celebrate this hope. The Hope of Glory.
— Be God’s.
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for the hope of salvation that we have in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for His atoning blood, shed on the cross for our sins, and that through His resurrection we might have life in His name. We thank You for the hope found in His first coming and we grab hold of the hope of His return. It is in His holy name we pray. Amen.”