This week has been a time of reflection for me. Monday would have been my mom’s birthday. Thursday marked the day she passed away. And today is the sixth anniversary of her funeral. Interestingly enough, this year those dates fell on the same days of the week as the final week of her life. I’ve thought a lot about Mom and life and eternity this week.
I never will forget the moment that my sister told me over the phone that Mom had three months to live. I was sitting on my sofa in Warren, Mich., more than 800 miles away. I never have felt so hopeless and helpless in my life.
Mom actually lived almost nine months after that diagnosis. I was privileged to be holding her hand when she slipped into eternity.
On that Saturday afternoon, I stood before family and friends gathered at Mom and Dad’s church and preached her funeral. Some members of the family questioned if I could do it. They wondered if it would be too emotional. But I knew it was something I had to do. I had to remind those in that place of the truths of the gospel and the resurrection and eternal life.
At Mom’s funeral, I made a statement that I have made many more times at many other funerals. I declared to the congregation, “She is more alive today than she has ever been.” And I did so in complete faith that I was telling the truth. As painful as that day was for me, I knew that truth was the greatest hope for the world.
In a little more than two weeks, we will celebrate the most important holiday on the Christian calendar, Easter. Certainly we celebrate the resurrection every time we gather on “the Lord’s Day.” We worship on Sundays because that was the day Jesus rose from the grave. But we set aside this day annually to mark the reality of what Christ has done and what he has promised us.
I believe in the resurrection. There is no doubt that the earliest followers of Jesus believed in it. Many of them died as martyrs because of their belief in the resurrection. It changed them forever.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” He wanted them to know that the resurrection of Jesus was, and is, the most important fact of history. Quite frankly, if the resurrection could be refuted, then the Christian faith would die.
But he is alive. And because of that, those who have trusted in him will live forever with him. I hope you are in that number. You can live forever. That is God’s promise to all who will trust in his Son.