Remembering Death in Life

by J. Randal Matheny
With the death of Michael Jackson, the media buzzes with details of his popular career and his bizarre life: star of the family group, the Jackson Five, the changes in his music, his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, his financial woes, his three children, all of whom bear both his names, his cosmetic surgeries, the charges of child molestation.
Death calls us to remember a life, no matter how wonderful or sordid.
In Jesus’ case, it was different. His resurrection calls us to remember his death.
So it was for the disciples, according to John. About Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he wrote,
“His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him” (John 12:16 ESV).
Earlier, when recording the Lord’s cryptic words about rebuilding the temple in three days, he said, “When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken” (John 2:22).
The resurrection validated everything Jesus had said and done.
When Jesus died, the disciples went back to fishing. One might say they forgot his life, because of their expectations. But when he arose from the dead, it all came flooding back.
This is why Paul wrote that, if Christ was not raised from the dead, then our faith and preaching and hope are all in vain.
So as we eat the Lord’s supper today, let us remember that he rose from the dead. And this fact will spur our memories of his sacrifice in death.

2 Replies to “Remembering Death in Life”

  1. I am presiding for communion at our congregation tomorrow. I would like to use this piece if I may.

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