Summary: This is a funeral sermon that points to Jesus - He too asked "Why?"
Today we are faced with a tragedy in our lives. We have felt disappointment and discouragement because we have come face to face with death - and we don’t like it. When these things happen we often ask the question, “Why?” Why has something like this happened?
The problem is that we want to have an answer and there seems to be none. We, like everyone else, regularly have a difficult time dealing with a God who, on the one hand, is supposed to be loving and kind, yet on the other hand, allows seemingly innocent people to suffer.
I have spent enough time in the ministry to learn to keep a respectful silence in the face of tragedy. More often than you think there is nothing to say in the face of awful disease or a sudden death. Often I have found that the best thing one can do at times like this is to be there. Be with them, be for them and just be present when life goes wrong.
In the church just before Easter we celebrate Good Friday. The events that happened on Good Friday some 2000 years ago speak of tragedy and sorrow. Jesus was arrested on trumped-up charges and then hauled off to be executed in a long, painful and humiliating way. And the questions that were asked that day are the ones we still ask today. “Why?” Why did this happen? Why did God allow it? Why didn’t God do something to stop it?
Even Jesus asks the question. You know the scripture, “My God, My God, why - why have you forsaken me?”
Good Friday does not allow for easy answers? To face the cross is to face our worst fears - fears that life is meaningless, full of failure, suffering and death. And if Good Friday were all there were, then we as Christians would be the most depressed and depressing people on Earth. But we know Good Friday is not the whole story. We know that there was a resurrection Sunday. It is a day of victory over death. We call it Easter.
And so we come today to ask God the big questions about really bad things and there may not be any easy answer. But, I think we must also ask God about the good things as well. Why joy? Why hope? Why eternal life? Why victory?
Contrary to what you might think, especially at bad times, God isn’t angry when we ask “Why”. But His answer to us may not come in a day or two. His answers may take imagination, love and most of all faith to understand. And they seem to defy all reason - and all explanation. But that’s the way God works, isn’t it?
And so we go on with each day. Some full of sorrow and pain. But others full of joy and surprise. And we call that life - because that’s what it is. And we look to the future with hope, and confidence that our victory - even our victory over death is in Christ Jesus - because it is. Because there was a death of a man called Jesus. He died and was burried. His followers asked the question - why? But there was just not a death there was also a resurrection. That fact is our hope - because if God can raise up Jesus from the grave - He can raise you and me up too. All we need is have a relationship with Jesus. Put Him in charge of your life and your future. He has said, "Those who believe in me will not disappointed." Trust in Christ today.