A Journey to Hope
There is one appointment in life which almost all people would like to avoid. Fear of this event strikes a chord in us and we would like to pretend it doesn't exist. You may be conscious of this fear. Yet for the most part our conscious fears are like the tip of an iceberg. That kind of the ultimate fear is death.
But you may say, "Oh, no! I'm not afraid of death. I don't think about it much at all". Perhaps that is one of the indications of the intensity of our fear. The older we grow, the stronger looms the reality of death. We have already or will soon face the death of some of our closest family members and friends. And we begin to think more about our own death.
One phone call piercing a midnight changed everything in the lives of Susan's parents. The startling news was brought to them that their teen-aged daughter, Susan, passed away because of a terminal illness. Whirling in emotional terrible and shock, these parents rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. "Dr. Jim, so many years - so many years my Susan, she is here with me and now - now, she's gone. I have nobody, Dr. Jim. Why this happen - why?" Susan's mother asked. Indeed, one of the hardest parts for Susan's parents was remembering how Susan used to be - a happy Christian girl, active in young life. Now, she's gone. It was almost too much to bear. "My Susan, she's a beautiful girl. She is not old. She is not ill so long. Dr. Jim, I don't know how I go on all alone", She added.
"You must go on for Susan's sake. She's not really gone", Dr. Jim tried to assure her. "She's gone", She persisted. "No, - nothing can take away the memories that you and your husband have of her - not even death can take those precious memories away from us - thousands of little things that we need never forget. I try to think of - I like to think of death as a journey. Do you know what I mean?", said Dr. Jim. "Like going away?", she questioned "Yes - like going away on a trip - a journey into a far off land. Death is only a journey - a journey to Hope. Although the dead are absent - away from us in body - only in body, their memories are always in our minds and in our hearts. Susan's spirit is with you always. Her soul is with God, her Heavenly Father forever, because Jesus is a conqueror of death. It means death has been abolished. It means that your grave and mine, and the graves of our dear dead, shall be empty sometime. The light of the Risen Lord is our guide through the gloom. Death is conquered. All is conquered". And listen! Dr. Jim speaks: "2000 years ago, God sent His only Son, Jesus to the earth because God loves us while we were still sinners whose penalty is death. But Jesus was willing to die for us on the Cross. After 3 days, He conquered death and rose again.
The grief that we feel over the death of a loved one is not deeper than the agony of the Man Jesus of sorrows has become. However, the Risen Lord is the Hope for mankind, paving up a journey to eternal life - a journey to Hope. By faith, we enter into a journey to Hope with peace. We think that there is no death - only the body dies - the spirit remains with God always. When Dr. Jim finished speaking, Susan's mother reflected, "I feel it is the spreading of God's Word, because that's what has happened". Indeed, the wonders of God's Word touched her life. She began searching a closer relationship with God. She believes that Jesus conquered death and the grave in order that He might be able to give her the gift of eternal life.
Dear Friends! Jesus seeks to reassure us. The earthly body has been perfectly adapted to the needs of our physical plane of existence. The heavenly body with which we will exist in heaven will be perfectly adapted to the needs of that level of spiritual experience. Through our relationship with Jesus, we will receive a spiritual body that is not subject to death or decay.
Do you believe this? If you have never accepted the Jesus as Savior, He comes today to knock at your heart's door. Let Him come in as Savior and Lord. As the Living Lord comes to communicate Himself to you, let Him walk with you along the road of life. Go with Him as He leads in the good way - a way to Hope. In doing so, you only say a prayer like this, "Dear Lord Jesus, I need You, who died on the cross for my sins and destroyed death. By Your resurrection You have brought life and immortality to light so that all who die in you abide in peace and hope. I trust You as my Savior and Lord in my life right now. Amen".
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