When I got the call, my heart sank and the tears fell. I thought of his parents, my uncle and aunt. I thought of his brothers. And I thought of my own loss. Even though I have walked my own dark road, there is nothing I can really say to help my family deal with this. No tragedy is the same. No road is my road. No path is their path. There is nothing I can do but tell them what I know to be true: if Jesus lives in you, death is no death at all. It is life, because He is life. That is the point of the cross.
People wonder why tragedies happen. I will give you an answer to that question. Tragedies happen because we live in a fallen world. Other people choices affect us here. Our own choices affect us here. Evil affects us here. Death affects us here. I will say it another way: Crap happens.
We chose this life. Not us directly, but indirectly. Adam and Eve, our ancestors, ate that fruit, and do not think for a split second you wouldn’t have done the same. God told us the penalty of eating that fruit, of disobedience, was death. We chose death. Not a happy thought, but it is truth. We chose a fallen world. We didn’t really know what we were choosing, but choose we did, and because of that, we die. Some of us die of old age, some of us die in war, others of us die on a highway far too young. Yes, death happens. And it sucks.
But see, it had to be this way. God had to give us a choice. There was no other alternative. God wants us to love him. Love without a choice is no love at all. So He gave us one, and we failed, but God did not let our failure be the last word. He sent His son to a fallen world and told Him to pay the penalty for our stupid choice.
Jesus died. Horribly.
And with that choice, with God’s choice of His son’s death, death becomes life to the believer.
Let me say that again.
Death becomes life. Holt becomes whole. His family can rest on the fact that God said: this life is not the end. Because this life, you see, is not true life. This life is a choice. It is a choice to live for God or to live in darkness. It is a choice of life forever, or death forever.
Jesus called himself “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is the life. Choose Him and you live – period. Death has no victory over the believer.
Death becomes life, because when the believer dies, he lives. He lives with the promise of a perfect body, one without decay, one without the possibility of death.
That is what we are waiting for. That is why God can look down on us here and sometimes allow (not cause) tragedy to happen. You see, Daddy God sees forever. He has Holt with him now, laughing with Him and walking with Him, and He can see Holt with his perfected body, hugging his parents necks with reunion and laughing with his brothers – when Jesus returns to make the earth, us, and everything new. Scripture says we are walking into Eden when Jesus returns. I have talked about this many times before on this blog, but I need to pound the point home.
Many of us fear Heaven because many of us have a false vision of Heaven.
Heaven is Eden reborn. Heaven is life as God intended it to be.
Holt will live his life again. When Jesus returns, the 1000 year reign occurs. Why does God put those 1000 years before eternity? It is to right all the wrongs that have happened to us in this fallen world. You see, only believers will be in that 1000 year reign. They will get to live again, live a life that was denied them here, live a life the way Daddy intended them to live it – without the touch of evil. That is right. Your life will start right where it ended. Will Holt meet the love of his life? I think he will. Will he have children? I think he will. And his parents will not miss out on Holt’s life. You see? Daddy can make tragedy right. He can, and He will.
Holt hasn’t lost anything. That is why Daddy God can stomach our choice. Daddy God knows the truth about Heaven.
May everyone who has suffered a loss believe this truth.
You life is not over at death. It hasn’t even begun. True life begins for all of us when that shofar sounds and the dead in Christ rise.
Daddy can’t wait to show you.
“Do not be afraid,” Jesus says, “I am coming quickly.” Revelation 1
Believe. Trust. Hope.