by Michael E. Brooks
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
The Church in Bangladesh was saddened recently at the untimely death of one of its young people. Thirteen-year-old William Hasda died after suffering through a brief illness with one of the fevers so common in flood-time Bangladesh, possibly Malaria or Typhoid. William was the son of Noren Hasda, a Gospel preacher from Naogaon district in the northwest. Every possible effort was made to provide medical care, and many prayers were offered, yet death came.
Death is sad, under almost all circumstances. No matter how old a person may be, or how ill, if they are loved they will be missed and their passing is grieved. The death of young people brings even greater grief. We mourn the unfulfilled potential their future promised. We mourn our inability to guide and help them as they mature and then become blessings to others.
Death is also certain. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We don’t know when, nor under what circumstances, but death will come to all. And in that certainty there is solace. It is not death that is tragic, but death which does not leave the promise of eternal life.
No story in the Bible is more relevant or needed than the resurrection of Lazarus. When Jesus shared in the mourning of Lazarus’ sisters, he demonstrated compassion and complete identification with the human condition. But when he raised Lazarus from the grave, he showed Divine power. He also promised to use that power on behalf of all who believed in and obeyed him. Through faith in Jesus, we will all have life. Not just for a time on this earth, but throughout eternity.
The Apostle Paul placed the resurrection at the very center of the Gospel message.
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty … If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:13,14,19).
We do have hope in Christ, because he was raised from the dead. And not only that, but he has demonstrated his power to raise the dead. Death remains real and sad, yet it is not tragic. Not when it comes to those who love the Lord, who have hope in His coming.
by Michael E. Brooks