[Jesus said] “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”
It was a cold, Minnesota day. We stood in front of a casket that hovered over a newly dug grave. There was an ache in the pit of our stomachs, tears poised to flow from our eyes, and a sob was quick to leap into our voices. Our emotions felt as cold as that Minnesota wind, howling over the plain.
There was one message and one message alone that warmed us: death had been defeated! Jesus had gone into death’s bitter coldness and came out of his grave; he rose to life! By his death, he won forgiveness of sins for you, for me, for all. And most comfortingly for us, on that day in the cemetery, we were reminded that Jesus won forgiveness of sins for our loved one whose physical body was lying in that casket.
We may have felt like losers that day. The reality was we were huge winners. And the biggest winner of all was our loved one, a believer in Jesus, whose soul was even then in heaven, enjoying the full fruits of the victory which Jesus had won for him!
And someday, our loved one will hear the voice of Jesus say, “Come out!” And he WILL come out of the grave! He will rise from the dead with a glorious, glorified body to enjoy the fullness of the victory which Jesus won for him, and he’ll enjoy it for all eternity.
And with Jesus as your living Savior, you will, too!
Lord Jesus, remind me that someday you will stand by my grave and call me out of it, raising me back to life to live with you forever. Use that message to dry my tears, to fill me with peace, and to focus me on the life which is to come. Amen.