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IT IS SAFE TO DIE IN JESUS


Max Lucado in his book Fearless, says,


"There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you." We Westerners might miss the wedding images, but you can bet your sweet chuppah that Jesus' listener's didn't. This was a groom-to-bride promise. Upon receiving the permission of both families, the groom returned to the home of his father and built a home for his bride. He "prepared a place."


By promising to do the same for us, Jesus elevates funerals to the same hope level as a wedding. From his perspective, the trip to the cemetery and the walk down the aisle warrant identical excitement. This point strikes home in our home as we are in the throes of planning a wedding. I use the word we loosely. Denalyn and our daughter Jenna are planning the wedding. I'm smiling and nodding and signing the checks. Our house bustles with talk of bridal gowns, wedding cakes, invitations, and receptions. The date is set, church is reserved, and excitement high.


Weddings are great news! So, says Jesus, are burials. Both celebrate a new era, name, and home. In both the groom walks the bride away on his arm. Jesus is your coming groom. "I will come and get you..." He will meet you at the altar. Your final glimpse of life will trigger your first glimpse of him.


But how can we be sure he will keep this pledge? Do we have any guarantee that his words are more than empty poetry or vain superstition? Dare we set our hope and hearts in the hands of a small-town Jewish carpenter? The answer rests in the graveyard. If Jesus' tomb is empty, then his promise is not (Pages 118, 119).


Jesus experienced a physical and factual resurrection. And--here it is--because he did, we will too! "Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back" (1 Cor. 15:23) ...Aristotle was wrong. Death is not to be feared. Sartre was mistaken. Your last moment is not your worst. The Greek itinerary was inaccurate. Charon won't ferry you into oblivion. Five hundred witnesses left a still-resounding testimony: it's safe to die. So let's die with faith! (Pages 120, 121).


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