Summary: This is a funeral sermon. I have modified it for general use.
“Christ Offers Hope” Revelation 21:1-7
Today we have gathered to celebrate the life of (NAME); [spouse, daughter, friend, etc.], and much more. Words are but shells which we try, in vain, to fill enough meaning to capture the depth of our loss and the extent of our grief.
Today, it is with terribly mixed sentiment that I stand before you. On the one hand I am compelled by the sadness of the timing of (NAME’s) passing. Our hearts are filled with grief. On the other hand, I think how wonderful it is that she has gone from this life to meet her savior face to face. How glorious a home coming it must be to be reunited with loved ones in the very presence of God.
Indeed, though our mutual grief clouds our vision of it and the pain of our loss is, at times, utterly overwhelming; what we are here to celebrate is a life well lived and not so much a death, but a transition from this life unto the next.
The nineteenth century English poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, wrote that “Death’s truer name is “Onward,” no discordance in the roll. And march of that eternal harmony whereto the world beats time.” The poet speaks rightly to suggest that death is but a continuation of life, a transition from this current state of temporal flesh to a state of eternal connection with God and eternal worship of God.
You see, it has been rightly said that we are not fleshly beings with a spirit, but eternal spiritual beings clothed in the flesh of this life. Today, though our hearts mourn the loss of this precious woman from our lives, we celebrate a glorious reality; namely that (NAME) has gone home to be with her Lord and that same Lord offers us the same hope that (NAME) had in this life and now realizes fully.
In this life (NAME) knew the hope of Christ and He offers that same hope to us, right here, right now, even today, in the midst of our pain and sorrow, Christ offers lasting, saving, eternal, secure, hope. When the world around us is fading, when the world inside of us is uncertain, there is a bright place where we can find hope.
Christ offers the hope of unending life. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (NIV) The Scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ, the son of the Living God, came into this world to seek and save that which was lost.
Why does the Bible call Him savior? Because apart from being found in Christ you and are already dead in trespass and sin; but oh, what blessed assurance, what hope that we have who are found alive in Christ, because though we die, through we pass from this life unto the next, we live!
In John 11:25-26 Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (NIV) Here, Jesus declares the truth about Himself, He is the resurrection, and He is the life; the truth about Jesus is that He is the truth.
He asks the woman to whom He was speaking, “Do you believe this?” Jesus asks this question because belief, faith is the key to unlocking the beautiful mystery that is Christ revealed in the flesh, eternity visible, glory revealed.
Just as (NAME) has now moved beyond the veiled understanding of God into the wonder of His glorious light, by placing our faith in Christ we are assured the promise of what she know enjoys; the hope of unending life.
Christ offers a new body, which will not be subject to the pain and aging of this mortal body. In II Corinthians 5:1 the Apostle Paul writes, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (NIV)
He also writes, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. 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 Corinthians 15:42-44 NIV)
This body fades away, but those who are found in Christ has received the great promise that one day we will be given a new body, a perfected spiritual body; the likes of which we don’t fully comprehend. Wonder of Wonders; what it be like to stand one day in a body not made of corruptible flesh but of perfected form; glory to God; to be found in the very image of His Son, Jesus Christ.