When my father passed away, I remember going to church that morning. Our family had only been attending that church for a few weeks, and my dad was on his way to work that morning to put in some overtime, and he was going to meet us at the late service.
The pastor later told us that it was the most difficult sermon of his life. Seeing us, our little family sitting there, waiting for a father that he knew we’d never see again – in this life. I remember as an unbelieving teenager, being called into that pastors office and the moment after he told us was like the splitting of an atom – the room shook with grief.
At the time, I remember grieving without hope. I didn’t understand that 2 weeks earlier my father believed in Jesus and he was saved by grace. And from that day until the day I put my faith in Jesus, I grieved without hope, and it was miserable. But the moment I put my hand in Jesus’ and put my faith in him, I grieved with hope – resurrection hope.
And when I struggle and I miss my family members, and I reflect on the profound losses of my own life, my mind wanders to this story…
Where God is grieving, standing by an open, roughly hewn tomb in the side of the earth, and expressing a volcanic grief over the ravages of sin…
Over the fact of death and suffering…
and the unbelief of the people who ought to have believed better than they did.
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