Death is a strange thing.
I’ve sat in the room with death on the way just 3 times in my life.
There’s something strange about knowing it’s coming.
There’s something unnatural, even though it’s the most normal thing in the world.
Why does it feel like that?
I sat with death on the way recently. Death was coming to a man I loved and admired. He had a huge influence in my life and we were having what I knew was the last conversation we would ever have. It was a Sunday, and the next Sunday he would no longer be with us.
So there we are. Tumours are slowly taking over… way too soon. I’m sitting in the armchair next to his bed. In his bedroom, in his home. The only home I’ve ever known him to have, the one right beside mine. He reached out his hand and I held it. I held it for half an hour. We laughed while reminiscing and cried while saying I love you. But you know what? We never said goodbye.
You know what he said instead? “I’ll be waitin’ for ya.”
Maybe you haven’t thought about what happens after death very much. Or you think people believe in life after death as a fantasy to help them cope with loss. Or maybe you think we just can’t know.
Let me ask you this.
If death is normal, why does the thought of death turn our stomach? And well up pressure that causes tears to sting?
Why does the thought of life going on without someone we love makes us weep?
It’s so normal, but so unwelcome. Why?
Death is a strange thing.
It happens to everyone. We know it will happen to us.
It’s so normal, but so unwelcome.
And it’s way worse when it comes too soon. It almost always feels too soon to those of us that have to say goodbye.
We have this deep-wired, gut-wrenching, soul-driven desire to hold on to the people we love.
A permanent goodbye is never acceptable.
I think it’s because we’re not made to say goodbye.
We were not made for death.
We were made for something more. Much, much more.
Today is Good Friday. Good Friday is about Death.
The capital D Death. The final Death. The irreversible Death.
There were witnesses and historical documentation, a man named Jesus was publicly crucified and died. Many believed he was the Messiah, the Saviour of the Jewish nation.
The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are astonishingly accurate representations of what happened on the day Jesus died. One of the reasons we know this because of how soon after Jesus’ death the events were physically recorded by eye witnesses in comparison with other ancient texts we rely on as truth today. (Like Plato, Caesar and Aristotle. Want to be blown away? Check this out.)
But – when Jesus died, hanging there – something happened.
Something in the universe shifted.
History changed. And so did eternity.
By power and majesty and mystery, death was being defeated.
“Only in this way could he (Jesus) set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
Hebrews 2:15 (brackets mine)
If you believe this, sit on it for a minute. Jesus literally died. If you have lost someone close to you, you know the agony personally. His friends and family grieved his death. They walked around in the fog and numbness of loss. Death was final, Jesus was gone. Or so they thought.
Thank God the story doesn’t end there.
If you believe this, imagine the uncategorized shock when Jesus stood before his friends and family in the flesh 3 days later (John 20 is one of several accounts).
Death wasn’t death anymore.
If you don’t believe this, I understand.
It sounds really out there. Really wishful-thinking. So, I gently offer you this question in honour of today… because, while it can feel far away, we’re all going to face it.
What if there is something to this? Don’t you owe it to yourself to at least explore?
You’re invited to watch Connexus online and explore Good Friday live or recorded.
Then, come back here Easter Sunday for more…
Resources to explore
Watch Good Friday’s service at Connexus Church
Wonder why anyone could actually trust the Bible for these accounts?
Here’s one of my favourite researchers: Lee Strobel.
Lee was an atheist and through journalistic research and study he came to see everything differently. He has created some awesome resources for intelligent people with important questions about scriptural integrity and faith.
Like Jesus, but skeptical about organized faith?
Check out Brand: New. It’s a new favourite about the mission and purpose of the church.
Andy Stanley exposes how the church veered off course and explores what Jesus really intended.