Summary: Funeral sermon depicting Jesus’ call to life.
As we gather today to remember I wish to share with you God’s marvelous strategic plan that He’s made available to everyone who hears and responds to His offer. The information and instructions of this plan are given in the Bible.
First of all we are experiencing the loss of a son, nephew, mentor, deacon, friend but heaven has gained another resident. There is rejoicing as our brother is welcomed home. The psalmist expressed, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15)
D.L. Moody was to have said, “When you hear that D.L. Moody is dead, don’t you believe it for in that hour I’ll be more alive than ever.”
God saw our predicament. We were not physically there that day Adam sinned yet we experience the effects of his decision to disobey God. It is written, For as in Adam all die… (1 Corinthians 15:22). The penalty of death was passed to the whole human race. The scripture says," For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Death had seized upon the creation that God had given life. God went into action because of His love. It is written,“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
God’s love is not a noun. It is not limited to a feeling. It is not fickle, here today and gone tomorrow. His love is a verb, an action. You can see the evidence of His love. It is tangible. The literal death of Jesus, God’s son, is evidence of His love. Again it is written, But God commendeth (to declare or make known ) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). Jesus literally died on the cross paying for the transgression that had destroyed the fellowship between the Father and His creation.
He did not love the world system, for John said, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15) God loved the humanity, His creation, you and me.
In the Genesis account of creation Moses tells us that after God formed man from the dust of the earth that he breathed breath into that lifeless form and man became a living soul. According to scripture the living soul, Adam, sinned and thus earned its wages which is death. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Adam was a living soul and the only thing he has to offer is death. Christ on the other hand is a quickening spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). Just as he stood at the physical tomb of Lazarus and cried, “Lazarus, come forth.” He stands at the tomb of humanity and calls your name. Those who’ve heard Him and responded to His call have experienced a new birth. We understand first-hand the scripture that says, And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:1-8)
Jesus was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, for our offences he was taken, and by wicked hands crucified and slain. He was raised again for our justification (Acts 2:23;Romans 4:25). Under the old covenant if God did not accept the sacrifice the high priest offered for the atonement of sin he was struck dead consequently he did not emerge from the Holy of Holies. The resurrection of Jesus is the evidence that God has accepted the sacrifice.
The Apostle Peter speaking of the resurrection on the day of Pentecost said, "[Jesus] Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it". (Acts 2:24) Jesus was perfect. He was not born under the curse of death nor had He because of his action (i.e. sinful behavior), come under the curse of death. An injustice had been served and by the eternal courts of heaven it must be corrected.