Summary: This sermon is my first funeral sermon in the learning process. It is about the death of Christ bringing about an end to the fear of death.
The End of Death
There is a fear that is imbedded in our human nature. It exists regardless of wealth, culture, or ethnicity. It is the fear is fear driven by the unknown. It is the fear of death.
It is a spiritual fear. One that consumes our minds with thoughts of what ifs. It causes us to question the meaning of life. It causes us to pause with the mysteries that death brings. With these mysteries we are forced to ask a myriad of questions. What is it? Where does it lead to? Why does it come at all? What happens after it does come? Is there a God? Is there a heaven or a hell?
Many of you today face these very same questions. You’re here because you have been affected by the sting of death. A loved one has passed away.
Today you feel grief. Today there is sorrow. In some the process of healing has begun.
Yet there is hope. There is an answer.
The writer of Hebrews knew about this hope. He knew about the answer to the puzzle and fear that death presents.
In Hebrews 2:14 – 15 he wrote these words. “Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
Even Jesus, himself, knew the fear of death. In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed that the coming of his own death could some how be avoided. “Take this cup from me.” He was flesh and bone and blood, just like you and me. How could he not fear the same things we fear? He knew there would be pain in his death. He had planned it that way. He knew that his friends and his family would be faced with grief and sorrow. He had already experienced the death of people he loved in his own life.
And yet he chose death any way. Even when it meant death upon a cross. He did it to conquer death once and for all.
With his conquering of death came another day. A day that Jesus rose from the grave. Death could not hold him. It could no longer cause fear in his life.
And so we sing the words, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future.”
Because he has conquered death we have a hope. We can be assured that though we may fear death. Death has no power over us because of Jesus.
So today there may be grief and there may be sorrows. Today there may be questions. Today there may be fear.
But a new day is coming. A day when there will be no more grief. A day when there will be no more sorrows. A day when there will be no more questions. A day when there will be no more fear.
Most importantly though, there will come a day when there will be no more death.