In the last three weeks, I have experienced the loss of many loved ones. Just last week I lost a friend who was attending our church. Sunday I lost a cousin, and this morning his mother, my aunt, died. Three weeks ago we said goodbye to my mother who battled cancer for ten years, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Just a few hours ago I received a phone call that my grandmother, my mother’s mother, passed away as well.
In moments like this, there is always a temptation to place the blame on the One who is the Ruler of Universe and the Master of death. After all, Deuteronomy 32:39 says “there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.”
But the fact that it is God who chooses when to end our life doesn’t mean that He takes pleasure in it, or that He is a friend of death. 1 Corinthians 15:26 “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” God himself will someday preside over the execution of our old enemy Death. God says in Ezekiel 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth.” He says in Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
Death was not God’s intention, but was brought about because of mankind’s sinful choice. The Bible says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)” Man had the option to submit to God and live in a world with no death, but we chose ourselves, and introduced death into the world.
God, in His love, made a way for us to escape the sting that comes from death in sending His Son Jesus Christ to the earth. We must still experience death, but Jesus takes some of the bitterness away. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we can be assured of our home in heaven. 1 John 5:13 says “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
I know that I am going to see my loved ones again, because they trusted Christ as Saviour. This thought gives me comfort in the midst of some of the pain of the loss I feel, and it can lighten your pain as well. You can say with Paul: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”