In my last post, we looked at the joy death brings for the Christian who dies trusting in the promises of Christ. But for those who remain here on earth, after a loved one dies, death brings an altogether different emotion. While the passed-on saint, rejoices, the remaining Christian, weeps. And rightly so. It is a rather new phenomenon that Christian funerals bear a resemblance to a festive gathering, rather than a somber one. Should Christian funerals be a time of celebration or a time of mourning?

One thing is clear, death is never celebrated in the scriptures. In fact, it is often followed by periods of mourning, days of lamenting and weeping. This response to death is in accordance with what Bible communicates about it. Paul refers to death as an enemy. It is a reminder that there is something terribly wrong with this world. Things are not right. Adam and Eve were meant to live forever and not experience the physical death that is part of our world today. But they forfeited that blissful state and plunged all of humanity into sin. And sin produced death.

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Death is a byproduct of this sinful world. So, when death happens, via any means – cancer, heart attack, murder, natural causes, Christians shouldn’t celebrate, we should mourn, because things are not the way they are supposed to be.

Jesus demonstrated this type of response. He encounters Martha and Mary soon after their beloved brother has died. They are saddened and angry over what has transpired. A completely understandable response. If you have lost a loved one, you know how painful it can be. Jesus arrives and knows he is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, immediately changing the emotional narrative of the situation, doesn’t dismiss the pain of the moment. He gets to the tomb of his friend, and he weeps. Jesus is reacting to the brokenness of this world. He weeps because Martha and Mary were sorrowful, and he entered their pain.

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SOURCE: The Front Porch
Philip Duncanson