Summary: A funeral sermon on the hope we have - found in 1 Cor. 15. "A New Body"
The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable:
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;
It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
I would take nothing away from the grief we feel today. I would not say everything is all right. Because it is not. We hurt. And we know we will hurt for a long time, and our grief is a dark valley we have to trudge through before we feel all right again. God made us so that we can feel the pain of grief. He made us so that we can have a relationship with Him and one another. When that relationship is lost we feel pain. We pay the price of relationships and courageously we go on with relationships because the are worth it. Some of you have lost a loved one - and it hurts.
I say to you, grieve. Grieve long and grieve deeply. Do not run from it. Do not treat your grief as if it were a stranger you can send away or deny it. Grieve what is lost. Grieve honestly. Grieve lovingly. Grieve patiently, until the cup is emptied. There is no other way back to wholeness but by facing what life brings.
Yet, I would like to speak a word of comfort.
We don’t need to fear death or run from it. In the scripture Paul proclaims that there is a promise in death. It is like the pearl within the cold hard exterior.
Paul said that we have a hope, for death is the doorway to the promised land, a rest form our labors, a reunion time with those we have loved. More than that, it is the time when we see our Lord face to face.
Scripture tells us that our bodies of flesh are perishable, truly ashes to ashes, dust to dust. But it goes on to tell us that if we trust in Christ, we will be raised in glory...we will be raised a spiritual body. A relationship with Christ is our hope for eternal life.
Why should we doubt this? We have been changing all our lives. Who can recognize the adult from looking at the infant’s picture? Who would image that the tall oak tree came from the small acorn. Or that the egg with it’s hard circular shell could produce a soft yellow chick. If a caterpillar is raised from it’s tomb in the cocoon as beautiful butterfly, can we not expect the same?
But the greatest example we have is the fact that Christ was raised from the dead. The old hymn says it best:
I serve a risen savior, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is lining, whatever men my say;
I see his hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
If Christ lives, which He does, we can live also.