Summary: Graveside service for a Christian man.
Several times a ten yr. old boy asked his mother, “What is it like to die?” She prayed that God would give her the wisdom to give her son the right answer to his all-important question. One day the answer came.
The next time he asked what is it like to die, she replied. Do you remember when you were very small and you would visit your grandmother’s until late in the evening? Your dad and I would drop you off at grandma’s house but when we returned to get you, you would be asleep. Your father would pick you up and put you in the car. When we got home he would carry you and put you in your bed. You didn’t even know until you woke up the next AM.
You went to sleep at grandma’s, but you would wake up the next morning in your own bed.
That’s what it’s like to die. One day we will go to sleep down here. Jesus will take us in His strong arms to our real home, and we’ll wake up in the Father’s house. The little boy was satisfied with that answer. We should be as well.
When I received the call about 3:30 last Wednesday afternoon, I prayed right then and thanked the Lord for the gift He gave us when He sent _____. I asked the Lord to take care of him from here on. I saw in my mind the gates of heaven open wide. I saw the bright light shining, the angels were singing, and people, lots of people were coming out to greet him and welcome him home. I immediately felt at peace in my heart.
Even though this is a sad day for all of us, we should rejoice that _____ is in no more pain and is living in a place that is so beautiful that he wouldn’t want to return. We prayed that God would take away his pain and suffering. And from God’s view of things, our prayers have been answered. _____ deserves that freedom from his suffering. He deserves that peace and the joy he has now.
_____ would expect us to cling to the memories. But he would also expect us to go on with life, not dwelling on his passing away. Jesus doesn’t want us dwelling on _____’s passing either. That’s why He said,
“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am you may be also. . .I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me; because I live, you shall live also. . . Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
You see, Jesus promised _____ that He has gone on before him in order to prepare a mansion for him. He prepared a place for him because He knew that our physical bodies would wear out. Jesus knew our physical bodies are only temporary.
The past two years have really been rough on _____ as he battled the cancer with chemotherapy and surgeries and medication. At times it seemed like all that was doing more harm than good. We witnessed how temporary the human body is. As the days drug on and _____ grew weaker and weaker, he began assuring himself and us that he was ready. He knew where he was going.
You see, that’s why Jesus said, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Jesus knew that all this is temporary. None of it, none of us will last forever here on earth.
But our new home, the mansion that _____ is living in right now will never decay.
Paul said it and we can claim it.
“To be absent from this body is to be face to face with the Lord.” There is no in between. At the moment of death, the Christian moves into the presence of the Lord. That’s why Jesus said to the thief on the cross beside Him, “Today, thou shalt be with Me in paradise.” Glen knew that. He knew where he was headed.
Our Christian hope is not based on wishful thinking. It’s built on the dependability and the trustworthiness of God Himself. So we can face death today with confidence and assurance of who God is and what He has done.